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Researchers Introduce the First All-Optical, Stealth Data Encryption Technology

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TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 29, 2020 — BGN Technologies, the technology-transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, is introducing the first all-optical “stealth” encryption technology that will be significantly more secure and private for highly sensitive cloud-computing and data center network transmission.

“Today, information is still encrypted using digital techniques, although most data is transmitted over distance using light spectrum on fiber optic networks,” said Dan Sadot, director of the Optical Communications Research Laboratory at Ben-Gurion University and the head of the team that developed the encryption technology.

Using standard optical equipment, the research team renders the fiber-optic light transmission invisible. Instead of using one color of the light spectrum to send one large data stream, this method spreads the transmission across many colors in the optical spectrum bandwidth (1000× wider than digital) and intentionally creates multiple weaker data streams that are hidden under noise and elude detection.

“Time is running out on security and privacy of digital encryption technology,” said Sadot, warning that codes can be taken offline and broken with enough computing power. “We’ve developed an end-to-end solution providing encryption, transmission, decryption, and detection optically instead of digitally.”

The research team’s solution employs a commercially available phase mask, which changes the phase of each wavelength. That process also appears as noise, which destroys the coherence, or ability to recompile the data without the correct encryption key. The optical phase mask can’t be recorded offline, so the data is destroyed if a hacker tries to decode it.

“Basically, the innovative breakthrough is that if you can’t detect it, you can’t steal it,” Sadot said. “Because an eavesdropper can neither read the data nor 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, BGN’s senior vice president for exact sciences and engineering, said the method invented by Sadot and his team will be useful for multiple applications, such as high-speed communication and the transmission of sensitive information such as financial, medical, or social media data without the risk of eavesdropping or jamming data flow. “In fact, with this method, an eavesdropper will require years to break the encryption key,” Levy said. “BGN is now seeking an industry partner to implement and commercialize this game-changing technology.”

The new all-optical encryption innovation will be introduced at the Cybertech Global Tel Aviv conference taking place Jan. 28-30, 2020, in Tel Aviv, Israel. For more information, visit www.aabgu.org.

Photonics.com
Jan 2020
GLOSSARY
optical spectrum
1.) Generally, the electromagnetic spectrum within the wavelength region extending from the vacuum ultraviolet at 40 nm to the far-infrared at 1 mm. 2.) The wavelength or color distribution found in a white light source once passed through a grating, prism, or other dispersive optical element.
Research & TechnologyIsraelBen-Gurion Universityencryptionfiber opticsoptical spectrumcodeCommunicationsdata centerscloud computing

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