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SKT takes quantum leap in telecoms encryption

Sept 07,2019
SK Telecom said Friday that its quantum cryptography technology has obtained preliminary approval as an international standard during an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland.

The meeting by ITU-T, the ITU’s standardization body that coordinates standards for telecommunications technology, was held from Aug. 27 through Sept. 5.

SK Telecom’s proposal will be selected as an international standard if members of the ITU do not dispute it in further discussions, the carrier said.

The carrier proposed a way to generate perfectly random numbers, or digital keys, that are not biased and cannot be predicted using quantum cryptography, it said. According to SK Telecom, the random numbers used in today’s security systems seem like they are random but are actually produced with patterns. This means the numbers could be vulnerable to hacking.

SK Telecom said in a hyper-connected society where 5G-based autonomous cars and smart cities become the norm, stronger network security is necessary, and quantum cryptography-based random numbers could better protect networks from hacking.

The carrier already applied quantum random number generators to its subscriber authentication process earlier this year. The subscriber authentication process is an indispensable step before accessing the mobile communication network to prevent the leakage of personal information and data.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]