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Metrology and Measurement Systems

The Journal of Committee on Metrology and Scientific Instrumentation of Polish Academy of Sciences

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Unconditional Security by the Laws of Classical Physics

Robert Mingesz / Laszlo Bela Kish
  • Texas A&M University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College Station, TX 77843-3128, USA, +36 979 847 9071
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/ Zoltan Gingl
  • University of Szeged, Department of Technical Informatics, Árpád tér 2, Szeged, H-6701, Hungary
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/ Claes-Göran Granqvist / He Wen
  • Texas A&M University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College Station, TX 77843-3128, USA
  • Hunan University, College of Electrical and Information Engineering, Changsha 410082, China
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/ Ferdinand Peper / Travis Eubanks / Gabor Schmera
Published Online: 2013-03-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/mms-2013-0001


There is an ongoing debate about the fundamental security of existing quantum key exchange schemes. This debate indicates not only that there is a problem with security but also that the meanings of perfect, imperfect, conditional and unconditional (information theoretic) security in physically secure key exchange schemes are often misunderstood. It has been shown recently that the use of two pairs of resistors with enhanced Johnsonnoise and a Kirchhoff-loop ‒ i.e., a Kirchhoff-Law-Johnson-Noise (KLJN) protocol ‒ for secure key distribution leads to information theoretic security levels superior to those of today’s quantum key distribution. This issue is becoming particularly timely because of the recent full cracks of practical quantum communicators, as shown in numerous peer-reviewed publications. The KLJN system is briefly surveyed here with discussions about the essential questions such as (i) perfect and imperfect security characteristics of the key distribution, and (ii) how these two types of securities can be unconditional (or information theoretical).

Keywords: information theoretic security; unconditional security; secure key exchange; secure key distribution; quantum encryption

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-03-21

Published in Print: 2013-03-01

Citation Information: Metrology and Measurement Systems, Volume 20, Issue 1, Pages 3–16, ISSN (Print) 0860-8229, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/mms-2013-0001.

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