Scientists reported Wednesday that they had taken a step toward bringing improved security to computer networks, developing an encryption technique that will extend protection to a small group of computer users.
The researchers at Toshiba’s European research laboratory in Cambridge, England, in a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, wrote that they had figured out a way to allow a group of users to exchange encryption keys — long numbers that are used to mathematically encode digital messages — through an experimental technique known as quantum key distribution.
The technique is believed to be more practical and less expensive than existing technologies. It also extends the scale of the current quantum key systems to as many as 64 computer users from just two users. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.