Toshiba readies uncrackable encryption

No more prying eyes

Toshiba wants to create a level of encryption technology that absolutely no-one can crack.

First reported by the Wall Street Journal, the quantum-cryptography system, which has been tested on Toshiba's labs and sites, uses photons sent over a custom-made fibre-optic cable that isn't connected to the internet thus making any spying incredibly difficult.

As for the particles themselves, Toshiba has stated that any attempts to change the code or wiretap the cable would alter the data and mean that eavesdropping or spying would easily be detected.

It is launching a two-year test of the system in August to see if it will work and Toshiba has stated that its photons will be able to travel 100km without a repeater and the experiment, if successful, will lead to long-term commercial use in the future.

Wait for 2020

Anyone getting excited about the new level of encryption being available soon should hold onto their hats. The start-up costs, including $81,000 for servers, and the vulnerability of photons mean that the technology won't be surfacing any time soon.

Toshiba doesn't expect to be able to provide the service to governments and enterprises before 2020 and the cost of development will need to tumble even further before consumers gain access to it.