India's indigenous quantum chip has been developed by DRDO to communicate between 2 Labs

The Quantum Key Distribution, QKD technology developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO has undergone trials between two laboratories in Hyderabad, where the quantum technology-based security was validated for a range of 12 km over a fibre optic channel.

What Is Quantum Key Distribution?

Quantum Key Dynamics is primarily a mechanism to undertake secure communication. It utilises a cryptographic protocol that involves components of quantum mechanics.

The technology enables two communicating sides to come up with different random secret keys which are known exclusively to them. Only they can use it to encrypt and decrypt messages, thus achieving highly-secure communication.

The technology has been developed by two DRDO facilities, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), Bengaluru, and DRDO Young Scientists’ Laboratory – Quantum Technology (DYSL-QT), Mumbai.

Uniqueness of QKD:

A unique property of QKD lies in the ability of the two communicating users detecting the presence of any third party trying to break into their knowledge of ‘key’.

This can be deduced from the fundamental aspect of quantum mechanics that is when the process of measuring a quantum system usually disturbs the system.

Benefits of QKD Technology:

The technology will enable start-ups and small and medium enterprises in the domain of quantum information technologies.

The technology is expected to help define standards and formulate crypto technology related policies that can use the QKD system in a unified Cipher Policy Committee (CPC) framework in the country for more secure ‘key management’ for current and future military cryptographic systems, said senior officials.

Loopholes In QKD:

The main drawback of Quantum Key Distribution is it relying on an authenticated classical channel of communications. In modern cryptography, having an authenticated classical channel determines that either any symmetric key of sufficient length has already been exchanged or public keys of sufficient security level are there.

When this information is already available, one can achieve secure communication without QKD. This can also be done by using the Galois/Counter Mode of the Advanced Encryption Standard.