The idea starts with the ansible. This is a device Ursula K. Le Guin uses in her science fiction. It's basically an instantaneous communication device. No time lag communicating over light years. Handy little plot tool.
The next step is to apply it to data communications. If someone wanted to make data communications faster and more secure, they'd likely want to remove the intermediary steps between machines. Get rid of network bottlenecks and also remove potential points of intrusion along the line.
Combine that with the idea of quantum tunneling, whereby wave energy moves through things it shouldn't be able to. So to cut out the middle-man in data networking, you figure out a way to allow the data to move as a quantum-tunneling waveform to the destination you desire.
So the finished discovery is that this quantum tunneling of data is already happening. It just goes unnoticed as the "normal" method of transmission is also intact. Once it is known, however, it becomes an unexploited and unprotected hole in computer security, allowing all sorts of nasty hacking and stealing of data.
Sound reasonable for a fictional thing?