Internet security is still an area that requires a lot of work and enhancement. Researchers are still on their way to build more robust network security solutions. Taking this a huge step forward, the U.S Department of Energy (DoE) has announced a plan to make the "unhackable internet".
The reason why they are claiming this to be virtually unhackable is that this internet is based on quantum physics. The technology relies on two quantum phenomena:
The first is quantum entanglement, where two particles are entangled in such a way that it is impossible to separate them, no matter how much distance separates them. Changing the properties of one will change the properties of the entangled particle. This change is almost instantaneous which can make quantum internet much faster than what we have today. The second phenomenon is quantum superposition, where a particle can exist in two different states at once. In other words, something can be “here” and “there,” or “up” and “down” at the same time. This is what makes quantum internet a tight security network for data transmission. The DoE adds "Information is encoded into entangled pairs of photons, in a superposition of states, in data terms, it means they represent both a one and a zero at the same time.”
Progress and challenges
A team led by Stephanie Wehner, at the Delft University of Technology, is building a network connecting four cities in the Netherlands entirely by means of quantum technology. It will be the first to transmit information between cities using the quantum network from end to end. A team in China constructed a network between Beijing and Shanghai, however, this network was partially dependent on the classical components in order to connect two quantum links and those mid-points could have been the attacking spot for the hackers.
Also, the entangles particles are harder to create and harder to transmit between long distances. This requires new technology and engineering to repeat the quantum signal without any break or without using any traditional, easy to hack solutions. Such repeaters are currently in design. This for sure is a long term plan which may take a long time to reach to general people. We can expect a global quantum network by the end of the decade.