Video: How quantum cryptography works

Information-bearing photons can guarantee that your data is safe from prying eyes

According to InfoWorld's Roger Grimes, quantum cryptography is the last, best defense when it comes to security. Computers are becoming so powerful that they can break traditional cryptography, which relied on complex math to work. Once quantum computing comes into play, it's game over for conventional cryptography. Thus, quantum computing begats quantum cryptography. But how does quantum cryptography work, exactly?

As the video above -- a clip from the BBC's "Defeating the Hackers" documentary -- demonstrates, quantum cryptography leverages a rule of quantum mechanics: The act of observing or measuring something changes that thing. Essentially, quantum cryptography uses quantum mechanics as an alert system; if a third party snoops on a data transfer, it alters that data transfer, raising red flags. This, in turn, is used to establish a snoop-proof crytography key made out of the unaltered (unobserved) information, which can then be used in much the same manner as a traditional security key exchange.

Sound complicated? It is. Let the video bring you up to speed.

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