The road to developing a perfect secret code has hit a small snag. Many experts believe that quantum mechanics is the key to completely secure communication. But a team of physicists now claims that it should be possible to intercept the super-secret messages without anyone knowing.
Todd Brun has come up with a way for eavesdroppers to listen in on quantum coded messages using time travel.
Both traditional and quantum codes need the right translation key to decipher them. If the wrong key is used on a traditional code, the eavesdropper only has a garbled translation of the original message, and no one’s the wiser. Using the wrong key on a quantum code actually changes the content of the original message.
The very act of reading a message written with quantum particles, like an electrons or photons, changes its outcome. Likewise, if a quantum code is measured using the wrong key, it will alter the enclosed message; alerting the sender someone has been listening in.
Brun says that if you were to garble a quantum message by sneaking a peek, all you need to do is travel back in time and undo any changes- which may be at least theoretically possible, according to some physicists. Sending the altered message to the past through a wormhole (or DeLorean) the message can interact with its earlier self and be restored to its original form.
“You might say it is a weakness of quantum cryptography,” quantum algorithm developer Charles Bennett told Science News, “But if there were wormholes, people could go back in time and do worse feats of mischief than reading secret messages,”
He may have a point there.