China and Russia Test ‘Unhackable’ Quantum Communication Link via Satellite
China and Russia are touting a new “unhackable” quantum communication link between the two countries. Scientists say they’ve successfully tested encrypting data using quantum keys beamed from China’s Mozi satellite thousands of miles above Earth.
The aim is to create a super secure information network using the wild physics of quantum mechanics. Quantum encryption basically makes data impossible to crack, ideal for shielding sensitive info in finance, government, defense etc.
In tests, researchers sent quantum keys over 3,800 km between ground stations in China and Russia. These keys were used to encrypt two images, which could only be decrypted by the receiving station.
When transmitting data, quantum keys are sent that can detect any hacking attempts. If the keys are measured or copied, they change – tipping off the stations that the data was compromised.
Before, distance was an issue for ground-based quantum communication, maxing out around 1,000 km. That’s where China’s Mozi satellite comes in, able to relay quantum keys from space to far-flung spots on Earth.
China launched the pioneering Mozi back in 2016. Since then, they’ve used it to set up a national quantum network. Russia partnered with them recently, looking to push the tech further.
The South China Morning Post reports Russia wants to take the lead in quantum communication and computing. Their goal is to launch their own quantum satellites and build a network with other countries like in the BRICS economic bloc.
Of course, it’s tough to evaluate these claims and know how truly “unhackable” the quantum links are. But Russia and China are clearly making bold moves to advance communication security with these futuristic satellites.
The quantum space race is on! Though keys transmitted from satellites rather than fiber optic cables may still have limitations on just how “unbreakable” things are.