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Dense-Coding Attack on Three-Party Quantum Key Distribution Protocols

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4 Author(s)
Fei Gao ; State Key Lab. of Networking & Switching Technol., Beijing Univ. of Posts & Telecommun., Beijing, China ; Su-Juan Qin ; Fen-Zhuo Guo ; Qiao-Yan Wen

Cryptanalysis is an important branch in the study of cryptography, including both the classical cryptography and the quantum one. In this paper we analyze the security of two three-party quantum key distribution protocols (QKDPs) proposed recently, and point out that they are susceptible to a simple and effective attack, i.e., the dense-coding attack. It is shown that the eavesdropper Eve can totally obtain the session key by sending entangled qubits as the fake signal to Alice and performing collective measurements after Alice's encoding. The attack process is just like a dense-coding communication between Eve and Alice, where a special measurement basis is employed. Furthermore, this attack does not introduce any errors to the transmitted information and consequently will not be discovered by Alice and Bob. The attack strategy is described in detail and a proof for its correctness is given. Finally, the root cause of this insecurity and a possible way to improve these protocols are discussed.

Published in:

Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 5 )