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Risk Analysis of Trojan-Horse Attacks on Practical Quantum Key Distribution Systems

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Jain,  Nitin
Quantum Information Processing, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Stiller,  Birgit
Quantum Information Processing, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Khan,  Imran
Quantum Information Processing, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Marquardt,  Christoph
Quantum Information Processing, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Leuchs,  Gerd
Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Jain, N., Stiller, B., Khan, I., Makarov, V., Marquardt, C., & Leuchs, G. (2015). Risk Analysis of Trojan-Horse Attacks on Practical Quantum Key Distribution Systems. IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS, 21(3): 6600710. doi:10.1109/JSTQE.2014.2365585.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-63D2-4
Abstract
An eavesdropper Eve may probe a quantum key distribution (QKD) system by sending a bright pulse from the quantum channel into the system and analyzing the back-reflected pulses. Such Trojan-horse attacks can breach the security of the QKD system, if appropriate safeguards are not installed or if they can be fooled by the Eve. We present a risk analysis of such attacks based on extensive spectral measurements, such as transmittance, reflectivity, and detection sensitivity of some critical components used in a typical QKD systems. Our results indicate the existence of wavelength regimes, where the attacker gains considerable advantage as compared to launching an attack at 1550 nm. We also propose countermeasures to reduce the risk of such attacks.