Realistic QKD system hacking and security

Fred Daneshgaran, Marina Mondin, Judy Kupferman, Shlomi Arnon, Marco Genovese, Ivo Degiovanni, Alice Meda, Francesco Di Stasio, Inam Bari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper discusses the most relevant aspects of the practical implementation of a long-range Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) link with trusted nodes, achieving the highest possible secret key rate generation within the security and system level constraints. To this purpose, the implementation of an end-to-end QKD system will be discussed, including implementation aspects from physical transmission of photon states through a standard telecommunications grade optical fiber, to consideration of device imperfections, information reconciliation protocols. In addition, since there are circumstances when a fiber optical link may not be available, we will also discuss a test bench implementation of a Free Space Optics (FSO) QKD link. Furthermore, in spite of the fact that Discrete Variable QKD (DV-QKD) systems have reached a maturity level that allows their potential full realization and implementation for creation of a secure network backbone for key distribution in nations, in realistic links DV-QKD is really limited by technology and physical constraints associated with construction of reliable high rate single photon (or at least low photon count) sources, and of fast and reliable single photon detectors with very low dark count rates. In these cases, the use of Continuous Variable QKD (CV-QKD) schemes may be advantageous. For this reason the paper also discusses the problem of information reconciliation in CVQKD scenarios, showing that in long distance links the sign of the received Gaussian samples contains the largest fraction of information, leading to the design of an Unequal Error Protection (UEP) reverse reconciliation scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XVI
EditorsRonald E. Meyers, Yanhua Shih, Keith S. Deacon
ISBN (Electronic)9781510621138
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
EventQuantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XVI 2018 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 19 Aug 201820 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceQuantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XVI 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Information reconciliation
  • Mutual information and capacity
  • Quantum correlation
  • Quantum key distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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