Crypto system promises security over fiber-optic lines

Monday, 10 November 2003, 6:26 PM EST

A quantum-key distribution and encryption system developed by Magiq Technologies Inc. and called the Navajo Security Gateway promises unbreakable encryption over existing fiber-optic lines. The crypto system will initially be available only to U.S. companies and agencies, the company said.

"Navajo Security Gateway is the world's first commercial-grade quantum-key distribution system available now for use over existing fiber-optic cables up to 120 kilometers apart. It offers unbreakable quantum-key distribution as many as 100 times per second, plus layers of VPN [virtual private network] security and classically based data encryption," said Andrew Hammond, vice president of marketing and business development at Magiq (New York).

In quantum-key distribution, an uncrackably secure key is transmitted, after which a normal encryption/decryption technique is used over standard fiber-optic lines. The key is chosen by a random quantum process rather than picked by a random number generator, thus avoiding the usual computational difficulty of cracking a typical encryption algorithm.

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