The Bridge - February 2018 - 28

Feature
As we have discussed, quantum key distribution
(QKD) promises a theoretically unbreakable
cryptosystem by employing the probabilistic nature
of quantum measurement over mutually unbiased
bases. In ideal conditions the security of QKD is
guaranteed, even against quantum computers.
Thus, QKD is one possible replacement for classical
cryptosystems threatened by quantum computing.
However, we have also seen how non-ideal physical
implementations of QKD systems render them
vulnerable to various attacks that weaken their
security, such as side channel attacks. We have
considered the avalanche photodiode backflash side
channel attack as an example. The results of the
authors' experiment investigating this attack indicate
that, if not properly addressed, QKD security could
be compromised.

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