Israeli researchers are set to unveil what they are calling the first all-optical “stealth” encryption technology for more secure and private cloud computing and data center network transmission.
The tech will be introduced by scientists from BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University (BGU), at the annual Cybertech Tel Aviv conference currently taking place in Tel Aviv from January 28-30, 2020.
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“Today, information is still encrypted using digital techniques, although most data are transmitted over distance using light spectrum on fiber optic networks,” said Professor Dan Sadot, Chairman of the Cathedra for Electro-optics at BGU who heads the team that developed the groundbreaking technology.
“Time is running out on security and privacy of digital encryption technology, which can be read offline if recorded and code-broken using intensive computing power. We’ve developed an end-to-end solution providing encryption, transmission, decryption, and detection optically instead of digitally,” he added.
Every transmission – electronic, digital, or fiber – has a certain amount of “noise,” BGN explained in a statement. Using standard optical equipment, the research team essentially rendered the fiber-optic light transmission invisible or stealthy by spreading a transmission across many colors in the optical spectrum bandwidth (1,000x wider than digital) and intentionally creating multiple weaker data streams that are hidden under noise and elude detection. This is instead of using one color of the light spectrum to send one large data stream.
Through this method, the researchers demonstrated that they can transmit weaker encrypted data under a stronger inherent noise level that cannot be detected.
“The solution also employs a commercially available phase mask, which changes the phase of each wavelength (color). That process also appears as noise but destroys the “coherence” or ability to recompile the data without the correct encryption key. The optical phase mask cannot be recorded offline, so the data is destroyed if a hacker tries to decode it,” BGN explained.
“Basically, the innovative breakthrough is that if you can’t detect it, you can’t steal it,” Prof. Sadot said. “Because an eavesdropper can neither read the data or even detect the existence of the transmitted signal, our optical stealth transmission provides the highest level of privacy and security for sensitive data applications.”
Zafrir Levy, Senior VP of Exact Sciences & Engineering at BGN Technologies said: “The novel, patented method invented by Prof. Sadot and his team, is highly useful for multiple applications, such as high-speed communication, sensitive transmission of financial, medical or social media-related information, without the risk of eavesdropping or jamming data flow. In fact, with this novel method, an eavesdropper will require years to break the encryption key.”
Levy said BGN was now seeking an industry partner to implement and commercialize this game-changing technology.”