Quantum channel loopholes due to imperfect implementations of practical devices expose quantum key distribution (QKD) systems to potential eavesdropping attacks. Even though QKD systems are implemented with optical devices that are highly selective on spectral characteristics, information theory-based analysis about a pertinent attack strategy built with a reasonable framework exploiting it has never been clarified. This paper proposes a new type of trojan horse attack called hidden pulse attack that can be applied in a plug-and-play QKD system, using general and optimal attack strategies that can extract quantum information from phase-disturbed quantum states of eavesdropper’s hidden pulses. It exploits spectral characteristics of a photodiode used in a plug-and-play QKD system in order to probe modulation states of photon qubits. We analyze the security performance of the decoy-state BB84 QKD system under the optimal hidden pulse attack model that shows enormous performance degradation in terms of both secret key rate and transmission distance.
Quantum Information Processing – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 28, 2016
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