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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Cambridge PhD creating new weapon to thwart hackers | Business Weekly

Photo: Tony Quested
"Novel data transmitter technology being created by a Cambridge PhD student could prove a key weapon against hackers" says Tony Quested of Business Weekly.

Photo: Bernard Taylor, chairman of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, presents PhD student George Roberts with his three-year Industrial Fellowship

George Roberts, who is working on the technology with Toshiba Research Europe in Cambridge, has been awarded an Industrial Fellowship worth up to £80,000 to help unlock the commercial potential of his data transmitter solution.

A student with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems, Roberts has been named as one of the UK’s most promising young doctoral engineers by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.

The technology concerned is a data transmitter to standardise next-generation quantum communications. It works by sending single particles of light between two parties. 

Anyone wishing to eavesdrop on the communication will change properties of the light in a manner which will be observable to the legitimate users. This means hacking attempts can be quickly spotted and security tightened.

“QKD-encrypted data is future-proof,” said Roberts. “Developments to QKD will likely involve networks comparable to today's internet, where many different users can communicate with one another securely. 

“Unfortunately, a number of different methods of implementing QKD have been developed, each with their own benefits, but each with a different transmitter and receiver. This would make a network overly complicated and expensive if all users are to be linked.

“The technology that I’ve worked on with Toshiba Research Europe, allows all different types of QKD to be implemented using a single transmitter. This would greatly simplify future secure networks. Also, this novel transmitter is power efficient, simple and has a small footprint.”

Source: Business Weekly