FAU and SK Telecom Sign Cybersecurity Research Agreement

FAU and SK Telecom, the largest telecommunications company in South Korea, have entered into a research and education agreement to collaborate on the development of secure communications using quantum physics.

FAU and SK Telecom will work jointly to conduct basic quantum physics research for applications in cryptology, hardware engineering and quantum computing cryptology to develop secure communications solutions for a number of industries such as healthcare, finance and banking as well as government and military institutions.


By gisele-galoustian | 11/30/2015

Florida Atlantic University and SK Telecom, the largest telecommunications company in South Korea, have entered into a research and education agreement to collaborate on the development of secure communications using quantum physics.

FAU and SK Telecom will work jointly to conduct basic quantum physics research for applications in cryptology, hardware engineering and quantum computing. SK Telecom will work with researchers across FAU including faculty in the Center for Cryptology and Information Security, the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and the Department of Physics.

As a leading player in quantum cryptography, in September, SK Telecom demonstrated its quantum cryptography system and a true random number generator (QRNG) at the U.S. Capitol Hill and entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Transportation Innovation Center to jointly develop quantum cryptography technologies for connected vehicles.

As an extension of this partnership, FAU recently co-hosted the 2015 Korea-U.S. Joint Workshop on Quantum Information at the Korea Institute for Advanced Studies in Seoul, South Korea.

“Cyber-attacks or ‘criminal attacks’ and security breaches put millions of people across the world at risk for having their sensitive information in the wrong hands,” said Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D., vice president for research at FAU. “We are very pleased to be working with a pioneer in quantum cryptology to develop secure communications solutions for a number of industries such as healthcare, finance and banking as well as government and military institutions.”

Recent research findings from the Ponemon Institute, show that criminal attacks are now the leading cause of data breach in healthcare. Ninety-one percent of healthcare organizations had one data breach; 39 percent experienced two to five data breaches; 40 percent had more than five data breaches over the past two years. In addition, 59 percent of business associates experienced data breaches; 14 percent experienced two to five data breaches; 15 percent experienced more than five data breaches over the same period.

“Quantum cryptography is being highlighted as the leading technology in the next-generation security system. SK Telecom will work closely with FAU to develop diverse secure communication solutions based on its quantum cryptography technologies,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, chief technology officer of SK Telecom.

Standard encrypted electronic communications uses a predetermined secret key to transmit data. However, this predetermined secret key is vulnerable to electronic interception and/or hacking and it’s easy to copy the transmitted data in the secured shell. Also, there are many known ways to find out the secret key and principle, enabling the eavesdropper to eventually retrieve the original data.

Quantum cryptography on the other hand, uses the laws of physics to block eavesdropping attempts. This system uses quantum signals that are fragile like bubbles. If an eavesdropper attempts to find out the secret key, the quantum signals are destroyed just like bubbles, thereby making eavesdropping impossible.

With current cryptography systems the secret key is being used repeatedly. With quantum cryptography systems, because the new secret keys are being generated continuously, they can be refreshed in less than one minute, allowing data to be securely transmitted.

“Any attempts to intercept the key will destroy the bubble, making it impossible to intercept. And best of all, the key can be refreshed within a minute,” said Flynn. “Quantum cryptography is going to globally revolutionize how we protect our data.”

-FAU-

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