Co-Inventor of public key cryptography and 2015 Turing Award recipient sees future for Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)
BETHESDA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Quantum Xchange, provider of the first quantum key distribution (QKD) network in the U.S., today announced that Dr. Whitfield “Whit” Diffie has joined the company’s advisory board. Diffie, co-inventor of public key cryptography, was attracted by Quantum Xchange’s early market status, innovative product offering, respected leadership, and role within the burgeoning quantum space. His position as an advisor will provide significant validation for the company’s approach to solving the inherent challenges of modern-day encryption through unbreakable key exchange and quantum communications that are complementary to public key infrastructure (PKI).
Diffie is best known for his work pioneering dual-key cryptography in the early 1970s. Before writing the 1976 paper, “New Directions in Cryptography,” with Martin Hellman, encryption technology was the sole domain of government entities. The Diffie-Hellman key exchange protocol democratized the use of cryptography and revolutionized the landscape of security in the private sector. In 2015, Diffie became a winner of the Turing Award, which is considered one of the most prestigious awards in computer science, for fundamental contributions to modern cryptography.
“We are thrilled to welcome Whit Diffie to Quantum Xchange’s board of advisors,” said John Prisco, President and CEO of Quantum Xchange. “Having the support of a renowned cryptographer who shares our vision to protect today’s encryption standards from the threat of quantum computers is a big advantage. Additionally, Whit’s experience of being first to market will be invaluable to the future success of Quantum Xchange.”
Quantum Xchange brings to market a Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) service called Phio, which secures the channel for critical communications, enabling organizations to send unbreakable encryption keys over any distance. Phio is the first quantum-secured network in the United States and leverages the properties of quantum mechanics to transmit and receive quantum cryptographic keys between entities. With its first strategic infrastructure partner, Zayo Group, Quantum Xchange has reserved 800 kilometers of fiber and 15 colocation sites along the northeast corridor, connecting Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The first leg of the QKD network, connecting New York City to New Jersey, is now operational and accepting customers since November 2018.
“Quantum Xchange recognized early that defensive quantum technologies were being largely ignored by technology heavyweights focused on the race for quantum computer supremacy,” said Diffie. “Their pioneering spirit and passion for problem solving is one of the reasons I was drawn to the company, and I am confident that their solution can protect organizations before we are faced with the consequences of quantum computing power.”
Today, Diffie serves as a Visiting Professor at Royal Holloway College of the University of London, Professor at Zhejiang University, and as Chief Scientist at Cryptic Labs. He has been presented numerous awards, including the IEEE Hamming Prize, as well as the National Computer Systems Security Award by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Security Agency (NSA). He has also been elected as a fellow of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, fellow of the Computer History Museum, and Cybersecurity Fellow.
Quantum Xchange extends the life of existing encryption investments through its quantum communications technology. Phio is not weakened by quantum computing, mathematical discoveries, or massive parallel computing networks. Additionally, it does not replace public-key encryption (PKE), rather, it allows organizations to secure their current networks using symmetric keys that can be trusted and uses quantum physics to detect anyone intruding on a transmission. Finally, any attempt of harvesting attacks today, to be deciphered later with a quantum computer, will be rendered useless. Phio is available as an affordable monthly subscription.