A Super-Secure Network Where Alarms Sound if Data is Compromised

It's a hacker's nightmare but a dream for bankers and spies: A computer network so secure that even the simplest attempts to eavesdrop...

If scientists were to develop a now-hypothetical quantum supercomputer, hackers could use it to easily crack existing encryption standards, said Carl J. Williams, a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is doing its own research into high-speed quantum cryptography.

Theoretically, quantum computers could one day become as common as desktop computers are today.

And BBN chief scientist Chip Elliott said there's no technical barrier to the widespread use of quantum cryptography.

For him, it's a question of when, not if.

"This is what every teenager wants: Instant messaging protected by quantum cryptography," he said. "Don't tell my daughter."