International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paper: Why Quantum Cryptography?

Kenneth G. Paterson
Fred Piper
Ruediger Schack
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Abstract: Quantum Key Exchange (QKE, also known as Quantum Key Distribution or QKD) allows communicating parties to securely establish cryptographic keys. It is a well-established fact that all QKE protocols require that the parties have access to an authentic channel. Without this authenticated link, QKE is vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Unfortunately this fact is frequently overlooked, resulting in exaggerated claims and/or false expectations about the potential impact of QKE. In this paper we present a systematic comparison of QKE with traditional key exchange protocols in realistic secure communication systems.
  title={Why Quantum Cryptography?},
  booktitle={IACR Eprint archive},
  keywords={applications / quantum cryptography},
  note={Also available at quant-ph/0406147 12605 received 6 Jul 2004},
  author={Kenneth G. Paterson and Fred Piper and Ruediger Schack},