Kish's research featured in MIT Technology Review

Photo of Dr. Laszlo KishAs the capability to send messages over the internet with absolute secrecy continues to be a problem, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University has discovered a classical technique that appears to be the answer everyone has been searching for.

Dr. Laszlo Kish, along with several collaborators, have shown that the use of two pairs of resistors with enhanced Johnson-noise and a Kirchhoff-loop (i.e., a Kirchhoff-Law-Johnson-Noise protocol) for secure key distribution leads to information theoretic security levels superior to those of a quantum key distribution, including a natural immunity against a man-in-the-middle attack.

Their paper has been the subject of several research articles in prestigious publications, including Extreme Tech and MIT's Technology Review. Kish's paper also is a plenary talk for the Fifth International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Workshop on Soft Computing Applications in August.

Kish's research is particularly timely because of the recent full cracks of practical quantum communicators, after promises that quantum cryptography would allow for sending messages with absolute secrecy guaranteed by the laws of physics. But because of the practical limitations of the equipment used to carry out this kind of communication and the loopholes this introduces, teams of scientists were able to successfully hack a quantum cryptography system. So far, Kish and his team have backed up their claim that their approach is unconditionally secure, and various groups that have tried to find a flaw in the method have been unsuccessful.

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Kish directs the Fluctuation and Noise Exploitation Laboratory in the department and also is a researcher in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, an engineering research agency of the State of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System. TEES administers Kish's research.

He received his doctoral degree in solid state physics from the University of Szeged in 1984. His general research interests include the study of laws, limits and applications of electronic noise processes for sensing, communication and information processing. Such applications are fluctuation-enhanced sensing, unconditionally secure communications, zero-signal-power communications, and noise-based logic. Honors include being the recipient of the Doctor Honoris Causa title from Uppsala University in Sweden in 2011 and the 2001 Benzelius Prize of the Royal Society of Science of Sweden and the Doctor of Science (Physics) title from the Hungarian Academy of Science in 2001.