Continuous-variable quantum cryptography with an untrusted relay: detailed security analysis of the symmetric configuration

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We consider the continuous-variable protocol of Pirandola et al. [Nature Photonics 9, 397-402 (2015), see also arXiv.1312.4104] where the secret key is established by the measurement of an untrusted relay. In this network protocol, two authorized parties are connected to an untrusted relay by insecure quantum links. Secret correlations are generated by a continuous-variable Bell detection performed on incoming coherent states. In the present work we provide a detailed study of the symmetric configuration, where the relay is midway between the parties. We analyze symmetric eavesdropping strategies against the quantum links explicitly showing that, at fixed transmissivity and thermal noise, two-mode coherent attacks are optimal, manifestly outperforming one-mode collective attacks based on independent entangling cloners. Such an advantage is shown both in terms of security threshold and secret-key rate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number022320
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review A (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2015


  • quant-ph
  • physics.optics

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