Game Changer: Challenges and Opportunities in Space-based Quantum Key Distribution

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Synopsis

Quantum technologies enable us to harness the smallest particles of energy and matter to collect, generate, and process information in ways not achievable with existing technologies. One area of quantum—quantum communications—could significantly advance the secure transmission of government and business information. However, in a distributed communication or computing environment, the distribution of cryptographic keys (e.g., passwords) to remote sites can be dangerous. Attackers can eavesdrop and may be able to decode the keys from an encrypted stream either in realtime or at some possibly distant future date, rendering any communication using those keys vulnerable. Quantum communications could significantly advance the secure transmission of government and business information.

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Authors:  Lori Gordon, Joseph Touch