Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vulnerability in commercial quanto cryptography

30.08.2010
International collaboration tackles the problem

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg together with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen have recently developed and tested a technique exploiting imperfections in quantum cryptography systems to implement an attack.

Countermeasures were also implemented within an ongoing collaboration with leading manufacturer ID Quantique.

Quantum cryptography is a technology that allows one to distribute a cryptographic key across an optical network and to exploit the laws of quantum physics to guarantee its secrecy. It makes use of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle – observation causes perturbation – to reveal eavesdropping on an optical fiber.

The technology was invented in the mid-eighties, with first demonstration less than a decade later and the launch of commercial products during the first years of the century.

Although the security of quantum cryptography relies in principle only on the laws of quantum physics, it is also dependent on the lack of loopholes in specific implementations, just like any other security technology.

"The security of quantum cryptography relies on quantum physics but not only… It must also be properly implemented. This fact was often overlooked in the past," explains Prof. Gerd Leuchs of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light.

Recently, NTNU in collaboration with the team in Erlangen has found a technique to remotely control a key component of most of today's quantum cryptography systems, the photon detector, which is reported today in Nature Photonics advance online publication doi:10.1038/nphoton.2010.214.

"Unlike previously published attempts, this attack is imple-mentable with current off-the-shelf components," says Dr. Vadim Makarov, a researcher in the Quantum Hacking group at NTNU, who adds: "Our eavesdropping method worked both against MagiQ Technology's QPN 5505 and ID Quantique Clavis2 systems."

In the framework of a collaboration initiated with ID Quantique, the researchers shared their results with the company prior to publication. ID Quantique has then, with a help of NTNU, developed and tested a countermeasure.

Academic researchers of the two laboratories will continue testing security aspects of quantum cryptography solutions from ID Quantique. "Testing is a necessary step to validate a new security technology and the fact that this proc-ess is applied today to quantum cryptography is a sign of maturity for this technology," ex-plains Grégoire Ribordy, CEO of ID Quantique.

About the Quantum Hacking group

The Quantum Hacking group at the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, works in the field of quantum cryptogra-phy, with the main goal to make quantum cryptosystems secure in practice. This is done by playing the role of the evil eavesdropper, and hacking practical systems by exploiting imperfections. Using these results, we propose modifications to the systems and new security proofs which take imperfections into account.

About the QIV group

The Quantum Information Processing group in Erlangen represents a close collaboration in the field of quantum communication between the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. One of the group's research focuses is research in quantum key distribution and operating a free-space link transmitting continuous-variables quantum information.

About ID Quantique

ID Quantique is a global leader shaping the evolution of network security through the devel-opment and commercialization of Quantum Key Distribution and high-speed encryption products. In 2001, the company was the first to bring this new technology to the market. In 2007, it was able to announce the first public application of this technology to secure a net-work used for vote counting in an election in Geneva. In addition to its strong technology fo-cus on Quantum Key Distribution, ID Quantique has also developed expertise in the area of high-speed encryption and has a broad portofolio of solutions for layer 2 encryption. A privately held company headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, ID Quantique is a spin-off from the University of Geneva and has close ties with leading academic institutions.

For further information, contact:
Vadim Makarov, postdoctoral researcher, Department of Electronics and
Telecommunications, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Email: makarov@vad1.com, tel. +47 73592733, mobile: +47 46795898
Quantum Hacking group: www.iet.ntnu.no/groups/optics/qcr/
Christoffer Wittmann, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light,
Günther-Scharowsky-Str. 1/Bau 24, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Email: christoffer.wittmann@mpl.mpg.de, tel. +49 9131 6877129
QIV-group: mpl.mpg.de/mpf/php/abteilung1/index.php?lang=en
Grégoire Ribordy, CEO, ID Quantique SA
Tel. +41 22 301 83 71, Mobile: +41 79 784 70 79
Email: gregoire.ribordy@idquantique.com www.idquantique.com

Vadim Makarov | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ntnu.edu/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>