Quantum tagging: Authenticating location via quantum information and relativistic signaling constraints

Adrian Kent*, William J. Munro, Timothy P. Spiller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We define the task of quantum tagging, that is, authenticating the classical location of a classical tagging device by sending and receiving quantum signals from suitably located distant sites, in an environment controlled by an adversary whose quantum information processing and transmitting power is unbounded. We define simple security models for this task and briefly discuss alternatives. We illustrate the pitfalls of naive quantum cryptographic reasoning in this context by describing several protocols which at first sight appear unconditionally secure but which, as we show, can in fact be broken by teleportation-based attacks. We also describe some protocols which cannot be broken by these specific attacks, but do not prove they are unconditionally secure. We review the history of quantum tagging protocols, and show that protocols previously proposed by Malaney and Chandran are provably insecure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012326
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2011

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