Skip to main content

China may send the first unhackable messages with quantum encryption

china to launch first quantum mechanics satellite chinarocket02
As institutions and governments around the world continue to push for greater hacking protections while also pursuing stronger surveillance powers, China is opting for a quantum encryption solution which could soon see it sending unhackable communications worldwide. To make this possible, it will launch the first quantum communications satellite in the world at some point in July.

Quantum communication encryption is a unique method of encoding the content of a message. Much like traditional encryption, it uses a key to make that content unreadable, but unlike traditional keys which can he hacked given enough time and processing power, quantum keys simply cannot be hacked.

Related Videos

Given the very nature of quantum mechanics, merely viewing the key itself would change its composition. As IBTimes puts it, if two people share a message encrypted by a key made up of quantum particles, if a third person intercepts it, that key will change in an unpredictable way. That not only means the message cannot be read by someone else, but that those sending and receiving would be made aware of the snooping.

To make this a reality, China needs this satellite launch. The nation has almost completed construction of a 1,240 mile quantum network between Beijing and Shanghai, with plans to utilize the network to send sensitive diplomatic data and military information, though its use may be expanded in the future.

China isn’t the only country looking to build quantum communication networks, however. The U.S., Japan, Canada, and several governments in Europe are all pushing to develop networks of their own.

While the countries involved have mentioned hackers as the reason they are developing such secretive networks, it seems likely that the hacking worries relate to other nations, not bedroom coders with inquisitive minds. In recent years the U.S. and China, among other nations, have sparred with one another in the press about ongoing cyber warfare between them.

It will be interesting to see if the proliferation of quantum communications networks makes that harder to achieve, or if we will just see new hacking methods arise.

Editors' Recommendations

Microsoft may have known about Bing Chat’s unhinged responses months ago
Bing Chat saying it wants to be human.

Microsoft's Bing Chat AI has been off to a rocky start, but it seems Microsoft may have known about the issues well before its public debut. A support post on Microsoft's website references "rude" responses from the "Sidney" chat bot, which is a story we've been hearing for the past week. Here's the problem -- the post was made on November 23, 2022.

The revelation comes from Ben Schmidt, vice president of information design at Nomic, who shared the post with Gary Marcus, an author covering AI and founder of Geometric Intelligence. The story goes that Microsoft tested Bing Chat -- called Sidney, according to the post -- in India and Indonesia some time between November and January before it made the official announcement.

Read more
Here’s why ChatGPT might be ‘at capacity’ for you still
ChatGPT and OpenAI logos.

AI-powered ChatGPT has recently been frustrating a sizable number of potential new users due to its own popularity, resulting in a very common "at capacity" notice that many people are facing.

Unfortunately, right now, you have to wait it out or come back at a time when less people are using it. You could also try out one of the best ChatGPT alternatives, including Microsoft's recently announced ChatGPT integration in Bing.

Read more
Microsoft responds to ChatGPT Bing’s first week of trial by fire
The new Bing chat preview can be seen even on a MacBook.

Microsoft is responding to some of the seemingly unhinged comments made by its Bing Chat AI. The service, which is currently in a limited public preview, has seen a trial by fire in its first week, and Microsoft has some updates planned to bring it more in line with the original vision of the AI.

As we reported yesterday, Bing Chat is capable of saying things such as "I want to be human," when engaged in prolonged chat sessions. Microsoft says this happens usually after 15 or more questions where the model becomes confused.

Read more