A network has been developed by Austrian scientists that it claims is unbreakable.

 

The team has connected six locations across Vienna and St Poelten using 200km of standard commercial fibre optic cables. However it claims that it is unbreakable by outsiders as it is the first ever to use quantum encryption.

 

The team said: “Quantum cryptography is based on complex mathematical procedures which are extremely hard for outsiders to crack, but not impossible given sufficient computing resources or time. But quantum systems use the laws of quantum theory, which have been shown to be inherently unbreakable.”


The Vienna experiment sees photons fired a million times a second between six different ‘nodes', which are each housed in a different Siemens office. In each of these locations, there is a small rack of electronics and a handful of sensitive light detectors.

Dr Hannes Huebel of Vienna University, which is operating one of the nodes, explained where the system may be used: “We are constantly in touch with insurance companies and banks, and they say it's nearly better that they lose 10 million euros than if the system is down for two hours, because that might be more damaging for the bank.

So that's what we have to prove, that we have a reliable system that delivers quantum keys for several weeks without interruption, and then they might be more interested.”