ULTRA-LONG FIBER LASERS: A NEW CONCEPT FOR SECURE KEY DISTRIBUTION

00:00 27-05-2007

The distribution of a  secret  key is most probably the
main  Achilles?  heel  of  any  secure  communication  system.   To
establish completely secure information  transfer  it  is necessary
for the two users to share a secret key, known only to them, before
the  communication  can  take  place.  In  many practical scenarios,
especially  when  a  large  distance  separates the two users, this
requirement is difficult to realize because  secure transmission of
the  key  requires  a  previously  shared  (additional)  key.  This
loophole  was  one  of  the  main incentives behind the attempts to
develop  physically  (as  opposed  to algorithmically)  secure  key
distribution schemes based on the fundamental properties of quantum
mechanics.    However,  the  complete  security   of   quantum  key
distribution  (QKD)  systems  is  not  achieved  without  a   price.
Theoretical  and experimental studies show that channel attenuation,
noise  and  detectors  dark-counts limit the key-establishing rates
and  the  operational  ranges  of QKD systems. To date, the longest
demonstrated QKD link is 122km long with actual key  formation rate
of ~ 0.2 bit/sec10.  In this talk  I will present and analyze a new
concept  for  key  distribution,  based  on  establishing  a  laser
oscillation between sender and receiver. The suggested architecture
offers potential key-establishing rates which are larger by several
orders of magnitude than those  of  the  currently demonstrated QKD
systems,   especially   at  long  communication   ranges.  Although,
strictly, the new system does  not  provide  unconditional security,
it  does  provide   security  in  the  sense  that  it  allows  the
communicating    parties    to    reduce   almost  arbitrarily  the
eavesdropping ability  of  an  adversary.   Such  a system deserves
serious consideration  as a building block for secure communication
solutions, especially for long haul links

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