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How Does Quantum Cryptography Make Secure Financial Transactions?

Waleed Farag and Sanwar Ali
Department of Computer Science
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA 15701, USA

farag@iup.edu and sanwar@iup.edu

Abstract

On-line banking is increasingly becoming more complex and sophisticated because of wireless networking that can communicate with the Internet. In addition to Internet banking, mobile banking will also play a significant role in the near future. As wired (Internet) and wireless (mobile) banking are becoming more popular worldwide, their securities continue to be major concerns among consumers. Banks and other financial institutions have been using secure public key cryptography (PKC), particularly the RSA algorithm, for on-line security. However, due to the advent of sophisticated technology and cryptanalysis techniques, security solutions in PKC are now uncertain. The success of PKC depends on the mathematical difficulty of factoring very large numbers. However, with increasing computing power, a 1024-bit key in RSA is now vulnerable. As computers get more powerful, encryption and decryption keys have to be longer in order to retain the level of difficulty. In recent years, quantum physicists proposed a new type of cryptosystem known as quantum cryptography (QC) that is promising to offer on-line security in public key infrastructure. Researchers are now examining QC as a possible alternative to classical encryption algorithms such as AES, RSA, etc. Unlike many encryption algorithms, QC does not depend on factoring large numbers into their primes, but on the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics. QC is more secure because an intruder will never be able to replicate a photon to recreate the key. QC allows the exchange of cryptographic keys with absolute security. The security of quantum key distribution in QC is guaranteed by the principle of quantum physics. Any eavesdropping will change the state of the photon that will alarm the user of the presence of a hacker. Once cryptographic keys have been exchanged, which is done several times per second, strong cryptographic algorithms are used to encrypt and decrypt the flow of data exchanged over an optical fiber. Unlike conventional cryptography, QC is not threatened by the advancement of computing power, new mathematical algorithms, or by the development of quantum computers. QC would allow users to overcome the vulnerabilities of PKC. QC is no longer confined to only laboratory research; rather it is now being used by financial institutions and government agencies for secure transmission of sensitive information. This paper will discuss how QC has recently been used to transfer funds in Europe.

View the full paper: How Does Quantum Cryptography Make Secure Financial Transactions?

Survey on Current Challenges and Future Directions for Multimedia Information Retrieval Systems

Waleed Farag and Sanwar Ali
Department of Computer Science
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA 15701, USA

farag@iup.edu and sanwar@iup.edu

Abstract

In this paper, an introduction to Multimedia Information Retrieval (MIR) Systems is presented with justifications to their current widespread use. Explanations of the fundamental differences between MIR systems and standard text-based retrieval ones are also provided with highlights on the inadequacy of the use of keyword-based search techniques as the only modality in searching these archives. Several challenges facing MIR systems are expounded with the focus on bridging the semantic gap between human perception and the low-level features used by automated MIR systems to index multimedia data. The paper presents some of the promising future trends and discusses briefly areas that need further investigations.

View the full paper: Survey on Current Challenges and Future Directions for Multimedia Information Retrieval Systems

Teaching Hands-On Linux Host Computer Security

Rose Shumba
Department of Computer Science
Indiana Univeristy of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA 15701, USA
shumba@iup.edu

Abstract

In Summer 2003, a project to augment and improve the teaching of information assurance courses was started at IUP. Thus far, ten hands-on exercises have been developed. The exercises described in this article and presented in the appendix are based on actions required to secure a Linux host. Publicly available resources were used to develop the exercises, which have been successfully utilized since Spring 2003 to teach cybersecurity basics classes. The experiences and challenges encountered in teaching the course and possible future work are also described.

View the full paper: Teaching Hands-On Linux Host Computer Security

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