Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vulnerability in commercial quantum cryptography

Date:
August 31, 2010
Source:
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Summary:
Researchers have recently developed and tested a technique exploiting imperfections in quantum cryptography systems to implement an attack.

A security researcher (Ph.D. student Lars Lydersen) is testing a commercial quantum cryptography system in a laboratory, to confirm the security vulnerability.
Credit: NTNU

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 in Nature Photonics advance online publication.

"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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lars Lydersen, Carlos Wiechers, Christoffer Wittmann, Dominique Elser, Johannes Skaar, Vadim Makarov. Hacking commercial quantum cryptography systems by tailored bright illumination. Nature Photonics, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2010.214

Cite This Page:

Norwegian University of Science and Technology. "Vulnerability in commercial quantum cryptography." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100829202008.htm>.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology. (2010, August 31). Vulnerability in commercial quantum cryptography. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100829202008.htm
Norwegian University of Science and Technology. "Vulnerability in commercial quantum cryptography." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100829202008.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Newsy (July 26, 2014) — A bill legalizing "unlocking," or untethering a phone from its default wireless carrier, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Acquires 'Pandora of Books' Service BookLamp

Apple Acquires 'Pandora of Books' Service BookLamp

Newsy (July 26, 2014) — Apple reportedly acquired analytics and recommendation engine BookLamp for between $10 and $15 million. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Wikipedia Puts Congress in Time Out, Blocks Editing

Wikipedia Puts Congress in Time Out, Blocks Editing

Newsy (July 26, 2014) — An IP address within the House of Representatives was banned from editing Wikipedia articles for 10 days after it made some questionable changes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins