Thermal blinding of gated detectors in quantum cryptography.

  title={Thermal blinding of gated detectors in quantum cryptography.},
  author={Lars Lydersen and Carlos Wiechers and Christoffer Wittmann and Dominique Elser and Johannes Skaar and Vadim Makarov},
  journal={Optics express},
  volume={18 26},
It has previously been shown that the gated detectors of two commercially available quantum key distribution (QKD) systems are blindable and controllable by an eavesdropper using continuous-wave illumination and short bright trigger pulses, manipulating voltages in the circuit [Nat. Photonics 4, 686 (2010)]. This allows for an attack eavesdropping the full raw and secret key without increasing the quantum bit error rate (QBER). Here we show how thermal effects in detectors under bright… 

Controlling an actively-quenched single photon detector with bright light.

The generality of the attack and its possible applicability to eavsdropping the full secret key of all QKD systems using avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are demonstrated, and two new technical loopholes found just in one detector model suggest that this problem must be solved in general, by incorporating generally imperfect detectors into the security proof forQKD.

Hacking single-photon avalanche detectors in quantum key distribution via pulse illumination.

It is experimentally demonstrated that, in the detector under test, the patch of photocurrent monitor against the detector blinding attack can be defeated by the pulse illumination attack proposed in this paper.

Safeguarding Quantum Key Distribution Through Detection Randomization

The proposed combined countermeasure represents a practical and readily implementable solution against the main classes of quantum hacking attacks aimed on the single-photon detector so far, without intervening on the inner working of the devices.

The countermeasures against the blinding attack in quantum key distribution

A coupler with asymmetric splitting ratio is used to distinguish the detection characteristic of the SPD with blinding attack from that without blinding attack and the detailed analysis shows that the proposed scheme is feasible to defense the blinding attack.

Energy Conservation in Distributed Interference as a Guarantee for Detecting a Detector Blinding Attack in Quantum Cryptography

  • S. N. Molotkov
  • Computer Science, Physics
    Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics
  • 2019
An avalanche single-photon detector blinding attack is one of the methods for quantum hacking of quantum key distribution (QKD) systems and changes the photocount statistics and leads to the detection of an eavesdropper.

Controlled Laser Damage of Single-Photon Avalanche Photodiodes

Quantum cryptography has been developed from being a theoretical proposal to having real world applications, with companies developing and selling quantum key distribution (QKD) instruments

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.

Hacking the Quantum Key Distribution System by Exploiting the Avalanche-Transition Region of Single-Photon Detectors

This work experimentally investigates the characteristic of the ATR, including in the commercial SPD and high-speed SPD, and proposes an ATR attack to control the detector, and gives possible countermeasures against this attack.

Securing Practical Quantum Communication Systems with Optical Power Limiters

A passive optical power limiter device based on thermo-optical defocusing effects providing a reliable power limiting threshold which can be readily adjusted to suit various quantum applications and which is robust against a wide variety of signal variations.

Comment on “Resilience of gated avalanche photodiodes against bright illumination attacks in quantum cryptography” [Appl. Phys. Lett. 98, 231104 (2011)]

A secure detection scheme is proposed, immune to the detector control attack and compatible with those security proofs for quantum cryptography in a very general setting, and if this scheme is implemented correctly, it offers provable security.



Controlling passively quenched single photon detectors by bright light

Single photon detectors (SPDs) based on passively quenched avalanche photodiodes can be temporarily blinded by relatively bright light, of intensity less than 1 nW. A bright-light regime suitable for

Avoiding the Detector Blinding Attack on Quantum Cryptography

Although the protocols used for quantum key distribution (QKD) have been proven to be unconditionally secret, the security of actual hardware depends critically on the detail of their implementation.

After-gate attack on a quantum cryptosystem

A method to control the detection events in quantum key distribution systems that use gated single-photon detectors that employs bright pulses as faked states, timed to arrive at the avalanche photodiodes outside the activation time to allow for an intercept–resend attack.

Effects of detector efficiency mismatch on security of quantum cryptosystems

For the Bennett-Brassard 1984 (BB84) protocol, it is shown that if the efficiency mismatch between 0 and 1 detectors for some value of the control parameter gets large enough, Eve can construct a successful faked-states attack causing a quantum bit error rate lower than 11%.

Quantum hacking: adding a commercial actively-quenched module to the list of single-photon detectors controllable by Eve

We show how PerkinElmer SPCM-AQR actively-quenched detector module can be controlled by an eavesdropper. The scheme uses bright optical pulses to get the detector blinded. In this mode, one can

Large pulse attack as a method of conventional optical eavesdropping in quantum cryptography

It is concluded that additional protection is necessary for currently implemented quantum key distribution systems against the large pulse attack, a new strategy of eavesdropping on quantum cryptosystems, which eliminates the need of immediate interaction with transmitted quantum states.

Phase-Remapping Attack in Practical Quantum Key Distribution Systems

A phase-remapping attack targeting two practical bidirectional QKD systems showing that if the users of the systems are unaware of the attack, the final key shared between them can be compromised in some situations, and that the attack is feasible with only current technology.

An autocompensating fiber-optic quantum cryptography system based on polarization splitting of light

We have developed a system for quantum key distribution (QKD), based on standard telecommunication lasers, detectors, and optical fiber, that passively compensates for time-dependent variations of

Time-shift attack in practical quantum cryptosystems

This paper proposes another "time-shift" attack that exploits the efficiency mismatch of two single photon detectors in a quantum key distribution (QKD) system and proves that if Alice and Bob are unaware of the attack, the final key they share is insecure.

Security proof of quantum key distribution with detection efficiency mismatch

The physical origin of detection efficiency mismatch in various domains including spatial, spectral, and time domains and in various experimental set-ups is described and it is proved that by randomly switching the bit assignments of the detectors, the effect of Detection efficiency mismatch can be completely eliminated.