Security is a big topic in the smartphone industry, especially as phones become extensions of ourselves. The technologies used to secure our phones, however, may not always be the most sophisticated, mostly due to reasons of economy. Behind features like fingerprint scanners, PIN codes, and the like, is the ability of a device to generate random numbers to provide some level of security. That is the specialty of Samsung’s “quantum cryptography phones” and the Galaxy Quantum 2 takes another stab at that extremely niche market.
Random number generation or RNG is one of the pillars of cryptography and one of the hardest to perfect in the mathematical and computational sense. The RNGs used today are really “pseudorandom” since they also need to have some level of consistency so that they can still be used to verify a certain identity or process. Unfortunately, conventional pseudorandom numbers can also be deciphered eventually using sophisticated methods.
That’s where quantum computing and specifically quantum cryptography comes in. The 2.5 x 2.5 mm quantum RNG or QRNG chipset by ID Quantique uses random light noise generated by an LED and interpreted by a CMOS sensor to generate a truly random sequence. In effect, South Korean carrier SK Telecom is practically claiming that the new Galaxy Quantum 2’s security features are nearly impervious to hacking.
One might wonder what such a feature would be used for and SK Telecom presents certain financial and banking apps as an example, as these often require a higher level of security than most apps. It presents its own services, like T World and T Membership, as well as those of Standard Chartered Bank Korea as some of those that will benefit from the Galaxy Quantum 2’s enhanced security. That said, Android’s own Keystore APIs support this unique hardware component so other developers could also hook into it if they want to.
Impressive as that quantum cryptography chip may sound, the phone itself is pretty mediocre. Full specs are still undisclosed but the Snapdragon 855+ processor alone is already a blast from the past, though it does have a 6.7-inch 120Hz screen to compensate. The Samsung Galaxy Quantum 2, just like its predecessor, will be available only in South Korea starting April 23.