Backflashes from fast-gated avalanche photodiodes in quantum key distribution

  title={Backflashes from fast-gated avalanche photodiodes in quantum key distribution},
  author={Alexander Koehler-Sidki and James F. Dynes and Taofiq K. Para{\"i}so and Marco Lucamarini and A. W. Sharpe and Z. L. Yuan and Andrew J. Shields},
  journal={arXiv: Quantum Physics},
InGaAs single-photon avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are key enablers for high-bit rate quantum key distribution. However, the deviation of such detectors from ideal models can open side-channels for an eavesdropper, Eve, to exploit. The phenomenon of backflashes, whereby APDs reemit photons after detecting a photon, gives Eve the opportunity to passively learn the information carried by the detected photon without the need to actively interact with the legitimate receiver, Bob. Whilst this has… 

Figures from this paper


Eavesdropping and countermeasures for backflash side channel in quantum cryptography.
This work experimentally demonstrates on a free-space QKD receiver that an eavesdropper can distinguish which detector has clicked inside it, and thus acquire secret information, and a set of countermeasures both in theory and on the physical devices are discussed.
Backflash light characterization to prevent QKD zero-error hacking
Single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) are the most commercially diffused solution for single-photon counting in quantum key distribution (QKD) applications. However, the secondary photon emission,
Resilience of gated avalanche photodiodes against bright illumination attacks in quantum cryptography
Semiconductor avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are commonly used for single photon detection in quantum key distribution. Recently, many attacks using bright illumination have been proposed to manipulate
The breakdown flash of silicon avalanche photodiodes-back door for eavesdropper attacks?
Abstract Silicon avalanche photodiodes are the most sensitive photodetectors in the visible to near-infrared region for a wavelength <1000 nm. However, when they are used for single photon detection
10-Mb/s Quantum Key Distribution
The first quantum-key-distribution (QKD) systems capable of delivering sustainable, real-time secure keys continuously at rates exceeding 10 Mb/s are reported, and the robustness and long-term stability on a second QKD system continuously running for 1 month without any user invention is confirmed.
Breakdown flash at telecom wavelengths in InGaAs avalanche photodiodes.
The breakdown fluorescence from two commercial InGaAs single photon counting modules is characterized, and a spectral distribution between 1000 nm and 1600 nm is found, and it is shown that by spectral filtering, this side channel can be efficiently suppressed.
Gigahertz-gated InGaAs/InP single-photon detector with detection efficiency exceeding 55% at 1550 nm
We report on a gated single-photon detector based on InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiodes (APDs) with a single-photon detection efficiency exceeding 55% at 1550 nm. Our detector is gated at 1 GHz and
Quantum key distribution with hacking countermeasures and long term field trial
A QKD system designed with this goal in mind is reported, providing a more resilient target against possible hacking attacks including Trojan horse, detector blinding, phase randomisation and photon number splitting attacks.
Room temperature single-photon detectors for high bit rate quantum key distribution
We report room temperature operation of telecom wavelength single-photon detectors for high bit rate quantum key distribution (QKD). Room temperature operation is achieved using InGaAs avalanche
Avoiding the blinding attack in QKD
We show the detector blinding attack by Lydersen et al [1] will be ineffective on most single photon avalanche photodiodes (APDs) and certainly ineffective on any detectors that are operated