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A Hybrid Authentication Protocol Using Quantum Entanglement and Symmetric Cryptography

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125617D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jan-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jun-09
Document File: 6 page(s) / 236K

Publishing Venue

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Related People

D. Richard Kuhn: INVENTOR

Abstract

This paper presents a hybrid cryptographic protocol, . using quantum and classical resources, for authentication and authorization in a network. One or more trusted servers distribute streams of entangled photons to individual resources that seek to communicate. It is assumed that each resource shares a previously distributed secret key with me trusted server, and that resources can communicate with the server. using both classical and quantum channels. Resources do not share secret keys with each other, so that the key distribution problem for the

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A Hybrid Authentication Protocol Using Quantum Entanglement and Symmetric Cryptography

 
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         D. Richard Kuhn National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, MD 20899 USA

Abstract This paper presents a hybrid cryptographic protocol, using quantum and classical resources, for authentication and authorization in a network. One or more trusted servers distribute streams of entangled photons to individual resources that seek to communicate. It is assumed that each resource shares a previously distributed secret key with the trusted server, and that resources can communicate with the server using both classical and quantum channels. Resources do not share secret keys with each other, so that the key distribution problem for the network is reduced from to . Some advantages of the protocol are that it avoids the requirement for timestamps used in classical protocols, guarantees that the trusted server cannot know the authentication key, can provide resistance to multiple photon attacks [Brassard et al., 1999; Felix et al., 2001] and can be used with BB84 [Bennett84] or other quantum key distribution protocols.

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This paper describes a solution based on a combination of quantum cryptography and a conventional secret key system (although a public key system could be used for the classical component as well). A novel feature of this approach is that even the trusted server cannot know the contents of the authentication ticket. Using quantum cryptography also avoids the need for timestamps and key expiration periods.

1.1 Protocol Description

This section describes the protocol under idealized conditions. A following section discusses the impact of transmission losses, detection rates and other limiting factors of physical implementations. We assume that each resource shares a secret key with a trusted server that an eavesdropper can read but not modify messages, and that resources can communicate with the trusted server over a classical and quantum channel. We also assume that the trusted server can be, in fact, trusted.

1. On the classical channel Alice sends a message to the trusted server, Tr, encrypted under Alice's secret key, indicating the party, Bob, that Alice seeks to communicate with. (A classical communication channel is suggested here, but the only requirement is that parties be able to communicate securely with the trusted server. Any form of secure communication could be used. Authentication between Alice and the trusted server is also required, and can

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1 Introduction

Controlling access to a large network of resources is one of the most common security problems. Familiar examples of authentication include the process of supplying a password to gain access to a computer, or use of a personal identification number (PIN) with an automatic teller machine. The user seeking authentication must provide some ticket that cannot be held by anyone else, either because user and system shared the secret at...