December 4, 2023

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South Korean tech firm SK Telecom’s quantum technology promises to fight hacking

2 min read
South Korean tech firm SK Telecom’s quantum technology promises to fight hacking
South Korean tech firm SK Telecom’s quantum technology promises to fight hacking

SK Telecom researchers check its technology of integrating diverse quantum cryptography communication networks at its office in Seoul. Photo courtesy of SK Telecom

SEOUL, April 7 (UPI) — South Korea’s largest mobile network operator SK Telecom announced it has found a way to integrate the globe’s various quantum cryptography communication networks, which could reduce the risk of hacking.

The Seoul-based wireless carrier said Wednesday the discovery could lead to the linking of quantum cryptography technologies over different mobile phone networks.

Quantum cryptography is a “method of encryption that uses the naturally occurring properties of quantum mechanics to secure and transmit data in a way that cannot be hacked,” according to TechTarget.

With its unique random number-generating capability and the intrinsic ability to pinpoint interference, quantum cryptography offers the promise of a technological future invulnerable to attacks.

Its application to the telecom industry has been limited due to problems in connecting and operating communication networks across various systems of different operators and nations, SK Telecom said.

The company’s pan-network solution, whose veracity and viability has been affirmed by Korea’s state-backed National Information Society Agency, offers a way to make the technology available around the world.

The next step, the company said, will be the standardization of protocols, which it intends to do by sharing its work with telecom companies worldwide.

Toward this end, the company has proposed two standardization tasks to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, which accepted them as work items earlier this month.

“Until now, the technology for integrating various networks related to quantum cryptography simply was not available, but we have now developed one,” an SK Telecom official told UPI News Korea.

“We will seek further verification [through the European Union] that will go toward setting a global standard, a basis on which telecom operators from all over the world will be able to build networks safe from hacking,” he said.

The company declined to give a timeline for international standards approval.

But Chief Development Officer Ha Min-yong said in a statement, “The two standardization tasks approved as work items by ETSI will boost the efforts to expand quantum cryptography communication in the global market.

“We will work with various global players in different areas to create new business opportunities worldwide.”

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