An international team of researchers, published late last year in the journal Nature Communications, described a new, perfectly secretive encryption system that claims to be capable of fighting future quantum computers. According to Rafael Misoczki, an encryption expert at Intel, perfect secrecy is the highest level of security in cryptography, and that if an encryption system can be perfectly kept secret, it will remain secure no matter how powerful your opponent’s computing power is.
Most attempts to achieve perfect secrecy have focused on developing quantum key distribution systems (QKDs), but deploying QKD systems requires a significant investment from businesses and governments to build new quantum communication lines. But the new perfect secret encryption method, described by the researchers, is based on the existing fiber-optic communications infrastructure. It does not rely on quantum physics, but is based on chaotic light states.
Inspired by fingerprints, the researchers used a dot-shaped pattern on the surface of the silicon chip, which acts as a maze of lasers, and the light waves bounce inside as they pass randomly. Regardless of the input conditions, the light entering the pattern produces chaotic motion.
With this system Alice and Bob can create one-time keys that cannot be intercepted and listened to, similar to QKD. But computer scientists disagree, arguing that the authors of the paper have a clear lying about encryption, and that quantum computers can’t crack all classical encryption methods, such as AES, which can still resist quantum computers by increasing the length of the key.
The use of chaos theory in cryptography was proposed as early as 1989, but it was not popular because of vulnerabilities.