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Explorations in Authenticated Quantum Key Establishment

Peter Ryan
In this talk I address the issue of authentication in QKE protocols. Typically in the QKE literature this seems to be addressed in a rather off-hand fashion with assertions along the lines of: we assume that the classical channels provide unconditional authentication (but not secrecy).

We propose some simple changes to a class of Quantum Key Distribution protocols. The first enhancement ensures entwining of the key establishment and authentication steps and provides early detection of any attempted Man-in-the-Middle attack and results in less leakage of key material to any eavesdropping attacker. We argue that this version is at least as secure as the original BB'84 scheme, but ensures a closer binding of the key establishment and authentication components of the protocol. A further proposed enhancement leads to a doubling of the key rate, but the security arguments become much more delicate.

Joint work with Bruce Christiansen

Speaker bio

Peter Y A Ryan took up the Chair of Applied Security at the University of Luxembourg in Feb 2009. Before that he was a Professor of Computing Science at Newcastle University from 2002. He has around 25 years of experience in cryptography, information assurance and formal verification. He pioneered the application of process calculi to modelling and analysis of secure systems, in particular presenting the first process algebraic characterization of non-interference taking account of non-determinism (CSFW 1990). In 1993, he initiated and led the “Modelling and Analysis of Security Protocols” project that pioneered the application of process algebra (CSP) and model-checking to the analysis of security protocols. He has published extensively on cryptography, cryptographic protocols, security policies, mathematical models of computer security and, most recently, voter-verifiable election systems. He is the creator of the (polling station) Prêt a Voter and, with V. Teague, the (internet) Pretty Good Democracy verifiable voting schemes. With Feng Hao, he also developed the OpenVote boardroom voting scheme and the J-PAKE password based authenticated key establishment protocol. Recently he has been dabbling with quantum key establishment protocols. Prior to moving to the University of Newcastle, he worked at the Government Communications HQ (GCHQ), the Defense Research Agency (DRA) Malvern, the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Cambridge UK and the Software Engineering Institute, CMU Pittsburgh.

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