Encryption is a key technology for ensuring privacy for our digital communication. Researchers from IFISC in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université Libre de Bruxelles have demonstrated a novel encryption scheme that is based on chaos synchronizing of remote sites. In this work which has recently been published in Scientific Reports, the researchers put the concept of a Vernam cipher into practice. In a Vernam cipher (also known as a one-time-pad), the coding key is used only once, therefore allowing for information security. In their work, the researchers show that such random coding keys can be derived at different sites from a transmitted high-dimensional chaotic signal. The crucial point the researchers show to ensure privacy is that the derived random coding keys do not exhibit any correlation to the transmitted signal which might be tapped by an eavesdropper. The scheme is demonstrated in an electronic system, but can be easily extended to photonics implementations.
Lars Keuninckx, Miguel C. Soriano, Ingo Fischer, Claudio R. Mirasso, Romain M. Nguimdo, and Guy Van der Sande, “Encryption key distribution via chaos synchronization”, Scientific Reports 7, 43428 (2017).