Cyberattacks may become impossible with new device, says Quantum Base and Lancaster University

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Cyberattacks may become impossible with the creation of the first practical quantum random number generator, according to Quantum Base and Lancaster University.

The generator is designed to provide 100% provable quantum security for authentication and communication when integrated in microelectronic products.

Chosen for inclusion in the Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2018, this device overcomes the weaknesses of current QRNGS which are typically slow, expensive or large, the duo says.

According to the team, the Quantum Base QRNG can be embedded within any electronic device without increasing cost or complexity and with a very high maximum speed.

Phillip Speed, CEO of Quantum Base, says: “We have created a small, low power device that produces pure random numbers. It can be incorporated into any electronic product with little or no incremental cost once volume production is achieved.”

Random numbers underpin the algorithms which lie behind every electronic communication. Many current applications rely on what is termed ‘pseudo’ random number generators, but information security requires ‘true’ random numbers for everything from online shopping and banking to vehicle electronics, gaming and smart household appliances.

By harnessing the innate randomness of quantum mechanics, the team claim they have developed an ell-electronic nanoscale, simple quantum true random number generator that can be embedded within a semiconductor chip like those found in billions of our everyday smartphones, laptops and home smart devices.

Professor Rob Young, Director of Lancaster University’s Quantum Technology Centre, comments: “Flaws in the way current electronic devices produce random numbers weakens their security and makes them less efficient. Our solution fixes this, but it’s also incredibly small and efficient, which is very important.”

With the lowest power requirements and high scalability due to the simple semiconductor structure – a resonant tunnelling diode (RTD) – the team believe their innovation will play a pivotal role in protecting both consumers and businesses across the globe in their digital futures.