Otago researchers a step closer to developing 'unhackable' computer

Attacks like today's US government social media breach have security agencies around the world scurrying to find ways to prevent their computers being hacked.

Breakthrough Otago University research has science and security worlds buzzing. Source: 1 NEWS

Hackers claiming to be from the Islamic State hacked the US Central Command's Twitter and YouTube accounts, filling the pages with threats against American soldiers.

In what could be a major breakthrough, Otago University researchers say they're a step closer to developing a virtually unhackable computer.

"So this is different ways where you can take light, store it somehow, and then retrieve essentially what is the same light back out again," says Otago University Physics lecturer Dr Jevon Longdell.

The Otago team has discovered how to harness that light which holds information, making the possibility of quantum computers - capable of far more advanced calculations and coding than regular computers - a step closer

"If you think of the number of components in a computer, this is one of the major components that are necessary that has been solved," says David Hutchinson, from the Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies.

The new breakthrough could make the world's first solid state quantum hard drive a reality. The technology basically means when a laser hits a crystal it changes the atom within it. The crystal can then be picked up and taken somewhere else effectively with a message inside it.

Similar technology has been used by Swiss banks, renowned for their privacy.

"But they can only do it over a short distance because they're doing it on optical fibre based network. Now they could share with their overseas branches," says Mr Hutchinson.

The developers believe that information will be impossible to hack.