Quantum hacking questions for a sci-fi project


I’m working on a science fiction project that includes an important episode of quantum hacking . I need a slightly more realistic framework in order to fill in the story, and I’m hoping you can help me answer a few questions.  I apologize in advance if my questions are elementary to the point of being annoying, but I’m hoping some of you experts can help me out.

Let’s assume there is a spaceship whose navigational decisions are protected by quantum encryption, using a series of optical channels. Based on what I’ve seen and read, including the stuff discussed on Youtube by Vadim Makarov, it would very much be possible to hack such a system and change the outcome.

According to Mr. Makarov (and others, I’m sure), you could fire a pulse into the channel and use back-reflection to built a map of the quantum state without disturbing it. From there, you could manipulate it.

My questions are:

1. How would the hacking computer “connect” to the system’s optical channel? Would a cable have to be coupled to the optical channel, and what would this look like? (My guess is ‘yes’, since photons would have to be injected and collected).

2. Is there a conceivable way for the location of the device to be discovered while said device is in operation? (electricity, I’m sure – but anything else?)

3. How would the device be uncoupled/removed? Would this even matter, if the hacking operation had achieved its desired result? Would you have to cover up the hole you made?

4. What are some rare materials involved in the building of a quantum hacking device?

5. Which components of a quantum hacking device do you think would be most difficult to manufacture?


Any bits of insight you could provide would be very much appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to read my questions.


Best wishes,



p.s. if you know of a better forum or person to ask these questions, please do let me know.

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2 Answer(s)

There are companies in the quantum computing space that focus on encryption, such as Cambridge Quantum Computing, MagiQ or Quintessence Labs.  I don’t know if it will help you, but companies like these are always adding things to their websites.

There is a World Building  forum on Stack Exchange that might be worth looking at.  Quantum for Quants is very small, but Stack Exchange operates 170+ sites, and they migrate questions to the site that the moderators think is most relevant.

Quantum encryption is a little outside the scope of Quantum for Quants, at least at the moment.

Answered on April 29, 2019.
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So far, no one has shown experimentally that it is possible to eavesdrop a quantum system without disturbing it. Any sort of observation made on the system will cause an alteration.

Answered on August 18, 2019.
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