Harnessing The Power of the Qubit For Totally Secure Cloud Computing This amazing and intriguing statement has appeared in a press release from the University of Vienna. With regular "classical" computing, information can be encrypted in a secure manner. However, the servers operating the cloud aka the data centre, by definition have to know what the data is that they're working on or holding. This means that a rogue admin could snoop on their customer's private data. However, the properties of quantum physics allow a quantum computer to be oblivious of the contents of the data that it's processing and this feat is called "blind quantum computing", which is unachievable with a classical computer. So, how exactly does this work? The press release says it best: Of course, the somewhat bold 'totally secure' claim must be taken from a slightly sceptical viewpoint. The physics may indeed be able to ensure complete security, but it's always possible that something about the physical implementation may allow a hacker to intercept messages or read stored data. This is not just theoretical, either. Entangled photons are currently used in commercial security solutions to send data down fibre optic cables. However, it has been shown that blinding the detectors with strong light in a particular way can confuse them, which allows a window of opportunity for the hacker to intercept data. There's always the possibility of some vulnerability like this being present here and if experience by computer security experts is anything to go by, there's no such thing as total security. A weakness will be found eventually. Researches at the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ) at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) carried out the experiments and their results will be published in a forthcoming issue of Science magazine. Picture Explanations The lock: The image shows multiple superimposed strings of data encoded in such a way that the quantum computation can be performed on a remote server, while still securely encrypted (Credit: Equinox Graphics). The qubits: The image shows clusters of entangled qubits, which allow remote quantum computing to be performed on a server, while keeping the contents and results hidden from the remote server (Credit: Equinox Graphics).