Credit card frauds are very common these days – today a data breach occurs in retailer's shop, online shopping site or banking site and at the next moment millions of cards appears in the underground black market – how simple is that for cyber criminals nowadays.
But imagine if there is no possible way to hack credit cards and ID cards. Seems like next to impossible, but quantum cryptography ensures that stealing people's personal data will soon be very difficult for hackers and cyber thieves due to an extra layer of verification.
SECURE FRAUD-PROOF CREDIT CARDS
The research at the University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands has suggested that "fraud-proof" credit cards are possible to develop using Quantum Physics that will protect users' financial and personal information from hackers. Security researchers describe this extra layer of verification as Quantum-Secure Authentication (QSA) of a "classical multiple-scattering key."
With the help of QSA method, people will be able to create a physical "key" which is impossible to copy or create similar ones. So, this new technology will not allow any person to copy someone's credit card and can validate the identity of any person or object, including debit and credit cards, even if the most important data has been stolen, the Optical Society reported in the Dec. 15, 2014 edition of the journal Optica.
However, Chip-and-Pin payment cards are opted by the major organisations to promote additional security solutions like tokenization and point-to-point encryption. Chip technology generates a unique code for every transaction, making it nearly impossible for criminals to use the card for counterfeit fraud. But we have also seen that the latest "Chip-and-PIN" technology are vulnerable to Card Cloning.
HOW QSA TECHNOLOGY WORKS
Now, the important thing to note is that how is it possible and how Quantum Physics works with the Credit card technology ??
This innovative technology depends on two unique quantum properties of light to create a secure and unique Question-and-Answer (Q&A) exchange that cannot be 'spoofed' or copied. As a single photon of light can occupy more than one location at the same time and because light has so many separate wavelengths that hacking a credit card would take centuries to find the right combination.
"Single photons of light have very special properties that seem to defy normal behavior," said a study lead author Pepijn Pinkse of the University of Twente's MESA and Institute for Nanotechnology. "When properly harnessed, they can encode information in such a way that prevents attackers from determining what the information is."
The "quantum credit cards" would be more secure and fraud-proof because QSA technology leverages the immutable properties of quantum mechanics to create a perfectly secure encryption system, instead of any mathematical interpretation.
EASY TO IMPLEMENT AND HARD TO BREAK
According to Pepijn Pinkse, such a security layer would be "straightforward to implement with current technology," used by credit cards.
Quantum credit cards would be outfitted with a strip of white paint containing millions of nanoparticles. Researchers could project individual photons of light onto this paint with the help of a laser that would bounce around the nanoparticles as if in a pinball machine before escaping back to the surface and forming a unique pattern.
"It would be like dropping 10 bowling balls onto the ground and creating 200 separate impacts. It's impossible to know precisely what information was sent (what pattern was created on the floor) just by collecting the 10 bowling balls," researcher said.
This new technology could help in protecting government buildings, personal bank and credit cards, and even vehicles, according to the research.