Verizon recently conducted a trial in the Washington D.C. area deploying a Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) network to showcase how quantum-based technology can strengthen security. The successful trial positions Verizon as one of the first carriers to pilot QKD in the U.S.
Quantum computers are believed to be able to solve certain computational problems significantly faster than classical computers eventually making it easier for hackers to crack today’s math-based encryption keys. Since there’s a limit to how many unique number combinations can be generated today, hackers using the increased compute power of quantum computers will be able to more easily decrypt your data.
In the recent trial, live video was captured outside of three Verizon locations in the D.C. area, including the Washington DC Executive Briefing Center, the 5G Lab in D.C and Verizon’s Ashburn, VA office. Using a QKD network, quantum keys were created and exchanged over a fiber network between Verizon locations.
In the trial, video streams are encrypted and delivered more securely allowing the recipient to see the video in real-time while ensuring hackers are instantly detected. A QKD network derives cryptographic keys using the quantum properties of photons to prevent against eavesdropping. Verizon also demonstrated that data can be further secured with keys generated using a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) that creates truly random numbers that can’t be predicted. With QKD, encryption keys are continuously generated and are immune to attacks because any disruption to the channel breaks the quantum state of photons signaling eavesdroppers are present.