Quantum key distribution with flawed and leaky sources
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/4027
EDITED VERSION: http://www.nature.com/articles/s41534-019-0180-9
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
In theory, quantum key distribution (QKD) allows secure communications between two parties based on physical laws. However, most of the security proofs of QKD today make unrealistic assumptions and neglect many relevant device imperfections. As a result, they cannot guarantee the security of the practical implementations. Recently, the loss-tolerant protocol (K. Tamaki et al., Phys. Rev. A, 90, 052314, 2014) was proposed to make QKD robust against state preparation flaws. This protocol relies on the emission of qubit systems, which, unfortunately, is difficult to achieve in practice. In this work, we remove such qubit assumption and generalise the loss-tolerant protocol to accommodate multiple optical modes in the emitted signals. These multiple optical modes could arise, e.g., from Trojan horse attacks and/or device imperfections. Our security proof determines some dominant device parameter regimes needed for achieving secure communication and, therefore, it can serve as a guideline to characterise QKD transmitters. Furthermore, we compare our approach with that of H.-K. Lo et al. (Quantum Inf. Comput., 7, 431–458, 2007) and identify which method provides the highest secret key generation rate as a function of the device imperfections. Our work constitutes an important step towards the best practical and secure implementation for QKD.
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