"In our industry, we are often prohibited from discussing actual security deployments, but operations like the Durban one have the advantage of illustrating the potential of quantum cryptography technology." Gregoire Ribordy, CEO, id Quantique.
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA (PRWEB) May 21, 2010
In the first use of ultra secure quantum encryption at a world public event, a critical communications link will be protected by Hybrid Quantum Encryption for the duration of the FIFA World Cup competition in Durban.
The award-winning Cerberis hybrid quantum encryption solution, jointly developed by Australia’s Senetas Corporation and Geneva-based, id Quantique (IDQ), has been deployed by Durban’s eThekwini Municipality and the Centre for Quantum Technology (CQT), a research group of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), to secure one of the most crucial links of Durban’s ICT FIFA initiatives.
Known as the ‘quantumStadium project’ it will use quantum mechanical methods to distribute ultra secure encryption keys that will encrypt the link between Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium and the offsite Joint Operations Centre. The hybrid solution comprises layer 2 encryption using globally-accredited AES 256-bit algorithms, but features a quantum-based key distribution system to provide ultra high data security for communications via telephone, internet, video, data and email traffic travelling across the fibre optic link at up to 1 Gigabit per second.
"With the use of the Cerberis solution to secure Swiss elections in Geneva since 2007, this new operation clearly establishes IDQ and Senetas as world leaders in this new industry," said the CEO of id Quantique, Gregoire Ribordy.
"In our industry, we are often prohibited from discussing actual security deployments, but operations like the Durban one have the advantage of illustrating the potential of quantum cryptography technology," Mr Ribordy said.
Senetas CEO, John DuBois said the deployment of the Senetas/idQuantique solution for the world event would add further public recognition to this network security technology now installed on four continents. He praised the work done since 2008 to help position the City of Durban to become Africa’s ‘smart city’.
“We applaud Professor Francesco Petruccione and his University team as well as the municipality of eThekwini, for their vision to secure a range of e-services travelling around the city on a fibre-optic backbone,” Mr DuBois said.
Professor Francesco Petruccione, Head of the CQT, said, “South Africa has the potential to lead Africa through advancements in Science and Technology. Global milestones, such as the quantumStadium project, entrench us as world-class players in research and development”.
The quantumStadium project extends the quantumCity initiative aimed at providing quantum based communication security within the eThekwini’s optical fibre optic network. Since 2008, the City of Durban has been positioned to become the Smart City of Africa. This vision includes the development of an optical fibre communication backbone to provide citizens with e-services such as online learning, health advice, internet business solutions, public sector productivity tools and surveillance. These facilities increase the dependence on online communication and therefore the quantumCity was proposed to enhance this experience with cutting edge communication security solutions.
City Manager, Dr Michael Sutcliffe, believes that quantum information and communication technology will not only boost the transformation of the Municipality into a high-tech information-driven organization, but also turn Durban into an incubator for future technologies.
According to Mr Abdul Mirza, a physicist at the Centre for Quantum Technology, using quantum cryptography would ensure that Durban has the most technologically advanced method of communication security. “Quantum cryptography encodes the secure key within the physical properties of quantum particles, therefore any unauthorized individual would have to defy the laws of physics to extract the key unnoticed,” said Mr Mirza.
The advancements in quantum computing and communication undertaken by scientists at the Centre for Quantum Technology had impressed the National Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor. Responding to these achievements, Mrs Pandor said: “I’m excited by the quality and innovative research that has developed at UKZN. It’s encouraging to note that government’s call to increase innovative research in science and technology at universities is being acted on.”
The City's vision is to extend this solution to the private sector, in turn transforming Durban from Africa’s Smart City to the world's first quantum city.