An international team has encrypted a message over fiber optic lines with the help of chaos. The message is embedded in a light beam that "undergoes chaotic intensity fluctuations." At the receiver, the chaos is taken out to reveal the hidden message. This had been accomplished in a laboratory but not over this distance of 120-kilometers.
"In this new encryption strategy, a private message is converted into and travels as laser light. The information is hidden within a laser beam that undergoes chaotic intensity fluctuations. Such chaos-encrypted communication had already been mastered in laboratories. In the Nov. 17 Nature, an international team details how it sent such a message over 120 kilometers of fiber optics running throughout the city of Athens.
"The main achievement ... is the fact that the transmission has been made over a commercially installed fiber network," says Alan Shore of the University of Wales in Bangor. His team didn't have to modify the optical lines. It was quite a "nice surprise" to see that the team's lab setup translates well to a real-world setup, says Shore."