Visible to the public Covert Communications-Based Information Reconciliation for Quantum Key Distribution Protocols

TitleCovert Communications-Based Information Reconciliation for Quantum Key Distribution Protocols
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGariano, John, Djordjevic, Ivan B.
Conference Name2019 21st International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks (ICTON)
Date PublishedJuly 2019
ISBN Number978-1-7281-2779-8
KeywordsAdaptive optics, authenticated public channel, BB84 Protocol, Bit error rate, Bragg gratings, channel loss, channel noise, composability, compositionality, covert channels, covert communication, covert communication channel, covert communications-based information reconciliation, cryptographic protocols, detector noise, error statistics, jamming, noiseless public channel, optical transmitters, parity bits, Photonics, polarization entanglement, Protocols, pubcrawl, QBER, QKD, QKD protocol, QKD system, quantum bit-error rate, Quantum channel, quantum cryptography, quantum key distribution protocol, resilience, Resiliency, Scalability, secure key rates, unsecure key

The rate at which a secure key can be generated in a quantum key distribution (QKD) protocol is limited by the channel loss and the quantum bit-error rate (QBER). Increases to the QBER can stem from detector noise, channel noise, or the presence of an eavesdropper, Eve. Eve is capable of obtaining information of the unsecure key by performing an attack on the quantum channel or by listening to all discussion performed via a noiseless public channel. Conventionally a QKD protocol will perform the information reconciliation over the authenticated public channel, revealing the parity bits used to correct for any quantum bit errors. In this invited paper, the possibility of limiting the information revealed to Eve during the information reconciliation is considered. Using a covert communication channel for the transmission of the parity bits, secure key rates are possible at much higher QBERs. This is demonstrated through the simulation of a polarization based QKD system implementing the BB84 protocol, showing significant improvement of the SKRs over the conventional QKD protocols.

Citation Keygariano_covert_2019