Hackers Will Have a Difficult Time Decoding

Now credit cards and ID cards imbibed with photonic patterns will be fraud-proof, courtesy quantum physics

Published: 12th January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th January 2015 12:36 AM   |  A+A-


Since the time credit cards and debit cards were invented, fraudulent practices and account-hacking came into existence. With technological advancements and new security measures coming in, hackers are also becoming tech savy to adapt and wriggle through such security measures. In lieu with such measures, researchers at the University of Twente and Eindhoven University of Technology in Netherlands have come with a fraud-proof credit card and ID cards through Quantum Physics.

Their Quantum-Secure Authentication (QSA) will not let hackers decode the specific information necessary for them to hack into a credit or ID card. The card will have a paper-thin layer of dry white paint which contains millions of nanoparticles. According to, when the bank sends a light particle into the paint, it will bounce between the nanoparticles until it escapes.

The website also says, that if you send a light particle into the paint it will, like in a pinball machine, ‘bounce’ between the nanoparticles until it escapes. If a bank sends a complicated pattern of light dots that’s unique for each transaction into the paint, you will subsequently be able to detect a new unique pattern of escaping light particles at the surface. So the next time the bank will approve of the card only if this pattern of dots is correct.

The website also says, “If the bank uses ‘normal’ light in this with a lot more photons than just the light dots, an attacker can measure the entering dot pattern and return the correct dot pattern with, for example, a projector, so that the bank will not be able to see a difference between the real card and the signal of the attacker.” This is where Quantum Physics comes into play. Photons have the capability to be in multiple locations at the same time and will be able to send a pattern into the paint layer which consists of fewer photons. “Because there aren’t enough photons in that case, an attacker can no longer measure the entire pattern, and will therefore not know which question the bank is asking. He will therefore have no idea which answer to send back, while the bank could check the answer with even just one photon,” say researchers.

The research was performed by Sebastianus Goorden, Marcel Horstmann, Allard Mosk and Pepijn Pinkse of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology in the Complex Photonic Systems group of the University of Twente, in collaboration with Boris Škorić of the Eindhoven University of Technology. According to Prof Dr Pepijn Pinkse, Head Researcher, “The best thing about our method, which we’ve called Quantum Secure Authentication (QSA), is that secrets aren’t necessary. So they can’t be filched either.” (


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