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Practical security bounds against the Trojan-horse attack in quantum key distribution

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Publication details

JournalPhysical Review X
DatePublished - 9 Sep 2015
Issue number3
Original languageEnglish


In the quantum version of a Trojan-horse attack, photons are injected into the optical modules of a quantum key distribution system in an attempt to read information direct from the encoding devices. To stop the Trojan photons, the use of passive optical components has been suggested. However, to date, there is no quantitative bound that specifies such components in relation to the security of the system. Here, we turn the Trojan-horse attack into an information leakage problem. This allows us to quantify the system security and relate it to the specification of the optical elements. The analysis is supported by the experimental characterization, within the operation regime, of reflectivity and transmission of the optical components most relevant to security.

    Research areas

  • Optoelectronics, Photonics, Quantum information

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