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Scientists dream up a credit card that no one can forge

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One downside of bank cards is that, with the right equipment and know-how, they're pretty easy to clone. That's not just a problem for the people whose cash gets stolen, but also for the banks that are tasked with preventing fraud. It appears that credit card cloning may become a thing of the past if a theoretical system from the University of Twente becomes a reality. Rather than using numerical codes which, as Target, Sony and others will attest, are only as secure as the box they're stored in, this new method uses quantum physics.

Put very simply, instead of a magnetic strip, future credit cards would have a band of nanoparticles running down one side. When a bank wanted to assign the card to a person, a laser would fire at it, bouncing light randomly across the strip. The quantum pattern that would be left by the "indentations" would be sufficiently random that, like a fingerprint, it'd be too resource-intensive to replicate, if it was at all possible. Unlike other high-faultin' anti-fraud ideas, the team claims that this quantum secure authentication works in the real world and is, apparently, easy to implement with current tech. Now be glad we didn't try to work in any sort of puns about taking solace in quantum physics for the James Bond fans amongst you.

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