China is currently preparing to launch an internet messaging system that could literally be ‘impossible to hack,’ according to Chinese State officials.
The ‘Jinan network’ is set to be launched this August after a long period of sustained and successful tests.
What makes this latest attempt at 100% secure communications is that the technology behind ‘Jinan,’ will 100% use quantum cryptology to detect and defend itself against any cyber-attack.
The Jinan network, when fully operational will be used by around 200 users from the military, government, finance and electricity sectors to safely and securely send messages, safe in the knowledge that only the sender and the intended recipients will be able to read them.
The new quantum cryptology service is so called because the project’s main base is in the city of Jinan in the Jinan Institute of Quantum Technology.
Quantum encryption vs Traditional encryption methods.
Traditional encryption that most of use in one form or another, whether we know it or not, works by hiding the encryption key in a very difficult mathematical problem, the answer to which only the recipient of the message sent is supposed to receive.
However, as quantum computing becomes more advanced, the Chinese government has been pouring huge resources into developing more secure technology that itself can’t be hacked by quantum technology. As computers become more powerful, even the latest standard traditional encryption technology, has a time dependent shelf life.
Impossible to hack, not impossible to block
Quantum networks, however, unlike the traditional standard systems mentioned above, send their messages embedded in particles of light. Should any third-party attempt to hack the network, the very nature of the quantum particles used, will be altered.
This has two main effects. The first, is that the message will be destroyed or altered to such an extent that it is impossible to decipher. The second is that the Jinan network will automatically know that someone has tried to hack the network. meaning the message is impossible to read or intercept.
But this also means that hackers could theoretically disrupt all secure communications, by simply interrupting messages on the Jinan network. Again, however, this would mean that at least no one could intercept the messages, which in counter-espionage circles could be describes as a win-win situation.
A quantum network the length and breadth of China?
No, initially anyway. While the Jinan quantum network will be the longest in the world at some 2,000 kilometres, it requires a dedicated network. So, for the moment, the Jinan network only runs from Beijing to Shanghai, passing through a message hub in Jinan.
China developing more advanced tech than the West?
Maybe, who knows. It’s all a bit swings and roundabouts. But one thing is for certain. China’s scientific stature has risen sharply in the last 10 years or so. The Chinese government also has some grand plans for the future. Earlier this month, it announced its plans to be the global leader in artificial intelligence by 2030.