Lombardy Region, Politecnico di Milano, Intesa Sanpaolo, Aria and the 1st Army Transmission Regiment join forces to create the first quantum network on which to experiment with the most advanced technologies for data transmission and cybersecurity 07 Jun 2022
Milan is the world capital of quantum computing. The collaboration agreement between Politecnico di Milano, Regione Lombardia, Aria, Intesa Sanpaolo and the 1st Transmission Regiment of the Army for the birth of a quantum communication network was signed today in the Aula Magna of the Politecnico di Milano. The main objective of the collaboration is to provide Milan, the first city in the world, with an ultra-secure post-quantum network (i.e. secure even after the advent of quantum computers) on which to experiment with the most advanced technologies for data transmission and cyber-security. The agreement was signed in the presence of Ferruccio Resta, Rector of the Politecnico di Milano, Fabrizio Sala Councillor for Education, University, Research, Innovation and Simplification of the Lombardy Region, Colonel Valerio Golino Commander of the 1st Transmission Regiment of the Italian Army, Lorenzo Gubian, General Manager, Aria SpA and Fabio Ugoste, Head of the Central Cybersecurity and Business Continuity Department Management of Intesa Sanpaolo. Today's is the intermediate stage of a journey born in March last year with the signing of an agreement between the Lombardy Region and the Politecnico di Milano. On the basis of a measure for the post-Covid economic recovery, the two institutions undertook to create, in co-financing, a network for the exchange of "quantum keys" based on 5 nodes arranged in the urban fabric of Milan and using as a communication channel the optical fibers already installed in the city. Although there have already been experiments in recent years of quantum transmissions, both in Italy and in Europe, this is the first time ever that a real quantum communication network is created and not a simple point-to-point transmission. Three of the five nodes of the network will be physically located at the headquarters in three prestigious companies in Milan, which each represent a priority field of application for data security: Intesa Sanpaolo, Santa Barbara barracks headquarters of the 1st Transmission Regiment of the Army and the Regional Agency for Innovation and Purchasing, Air, of the Lombardy Region. The other two nodes will be located in the two city campuses of the Politecnico di Milano, Leonardo and Bovisa. "We are talking about a secure and fast infrastructure for the transmission and sharing of data, which will have disruptive applications also in terms of cyber-security – explains the Councilor for Innovation and Research of the Lombardy Region, Fabrizio Sala – Hacker attacks are increasingly frequent both on institutions and on the production world, investing in tools that can put the territory in the best conditions to protect itself is our priority. With this project, in fact, it will be possible to develop and test the most advanced security technologies for data transfer applications in the financial, administrative, health and intelligence fields". This agreement is part of the "Program of interventions for economic recovery: development of new collaboration agreements with universities for research, innovation and technology transfer" of the Lombardy Region which provides for collaboration agreements with public bodies belonging to the Lombard university system, of which seven public universities and a University Institute of Higher Studies. "The Poliqi network and the innovative quantum nodes that allow its realization have been completely designed by the Politecnico di Milano (which has already filed two patents to protect it) and will be realized in collaboration with national technological partners, many of whom are based in Lombardy – highlights Mario Martinelli, Professor of Optical Communications at the Politecnico di Milano and scientific manager of the project – This is the concrete answer raising the levels of threat to sensitive data that are taking place in all strategic sectors of the economy and society. The post-quantum experiments that will be made possible by the active participation of the three partners with whom the agreement is signed today, will trace the way for the raising of digital security throughout the country". "It is an honor for us to host a quantum node at our Datacenters – underlines Lorenzo Gubian, General Manager of Aria – and we are proud that Aria Spa is a technological partner of the initiative, further strengthening the innovation mandate that we have developed in our industrial plan." "The 1st Transmission Regiment, present in the city of Milan since 1976, with the participation in the Poliqi project, is consolidated, not only as a reference point for the safety of citizens and for the support of the population in homeland security and public safety activities – says Valerio Golino Commander of the 1st Transmission Regiment of the Italian Army – but also as a technological partner and reference point of the Italian Army for all the institutional and industrial realities of Lombardy in the study and development of new technologies aimed at making communications secure in a post-quantum scenario". "The challenge of quantum computing is now upon us and also on this occasion the Intesa Sanpaolo Group wants to be at the forefront, together with an Italian excellence such as the Politecnico di Milano, to promote research and development thanks to the Poliqi collaboration agreement – highlights Fabio Ugoste, Head of Cybersecurity Business Continuity Management of Intesa Sanpaolo – The first communication network operating in an urban environment for the exchange of quantum keys is an important step towards the creation of a new cyber defense system resistant to the attack of quantum computing, a necessary system for the bank and essential for the country in the near future". What is a quantum network In 1984 Charles Bennet of IBM and Gilles Brassard of the University of Montreal, proposed a method to encrypt messages based on a protocol partly conventional and partly quantum. This protocol, since known as BB84, is the basis of the construction of the quantum infrastructure for the city of Milan, Poliqi. The BB84 protocol is based on the transmission of single photons, the elementary particles of light, and an encoding of information that exploits the quantum principle of superposition of states (in this case, of the polarization states possessed by the photon). The security from any interception is therefore based on physical principles and as such is "unconditionally" secure, a term that indicates that no present or future computing capacity can ever "open" the code made with this protocol. The BB84 protocol is becoming very important in recent years, precisely because it represents a possible response to the attacks that will soon be brought to all other conventional cryptographic protocols (ie based on mathematical algorithms), from the extraordinary computing capacity represented by the next "quantum computers" that are already being tested in the most advanced research laboratories in the world. In practice, it represents a concrete "quantum" response to a "quantum" threat.
Comment: no need to spend money, Even our CRIPTEOS 3001 system, already working, has such security that no present or future computing capacity will be able to violate it. It is also based on patents and mathematical certainties. On the other hand, on the part of the quantum world, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle that underlies it greatly reduces these certainties of achieving inviolable cryptography. But in the meantime the money is taken, then there will be problems. The computing power of Quantum Computers makes everyone agree that traditional encryption, including the famous RSA public and private key system, is being systematically hacked. So also the cryptocurrency wallets . But even assuming that they can realize reliable quantum cryptography there is a time frame in which traditional cryptography is breached and quantum cryptography is still not reliable. Then there is another problem: how do physicists manage to create a Backdoor to access encrypted information by the authorities? We have succeeded with our CRIPTEOS 3001 system. We are ready. Chinese proverb: When the finger points to the Moon, the stupid looks at the finger.