The following is an excerpt from OWEN MATTHEWS | October 30, 2017 | Newsweek.com |
The Nazis knew secret communication was the key to world domination. Their prize technology was the electromechanical Enigma machine, an encryption device that allowed German tank divisions, embassies and even submarines to send scrambled radio messages to the Reich during World War II.
They believed their system was unbreakable. It was—until a young British mathematician named Alan Turing realized that the signal could be unscrambled if he could create a machine to systematically try thousands of key combinations that would eventually hit upon an intelligible message.
The result was the world’s first computer. Britain’s ability to read Germany’s secret codes was a crucial factor in the Allies’ victory.
Now, thanks to a technology called quantum encryption, the dream of perfectly secure communication is real. It could help free the world from online fraud and identity theft, hacking attacks and electronic eavesdropping. It could also enable terrorists and criminals to communicate with absolute secrecy—and governments to hide their secrets without anyone ever finding out. In a world of unbreakable encryption, all human electronic communication could become entirely private—with mind-boggling consequences, both good and bad, for cybersecurity.
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