Paper 2009/082

The Case for Quantum Key Distribution

Douglas Stebila, Michele Mosca, and Norbert Lütkenhaus


Quantum key distribution (QKD) promises secure key agreement by using quantum mechanical systems. We argue that QKD will be an important part of future cryptographic infrastructures. It can provide long-term confidentiality for encrypted information without reliance on computational assumptions. Although QKD still requires authentication to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, it can make use of either information-theoretically secure symmetric key authentication or computationally secure public key authentication: even when using public key authentication, we argue that QKD still offers stronger security than classical key agreement.

Note: version 2 - minor textual revisions

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Publication info
Published elsewhere. QuantumComm 2009 Workshop on Quantum and Classical Information Security
quantum cryptography
Contact author(s)
douglas @ stebila ca
2009-12-02: revised
2009-02-24: received
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      author = {Douglas Stebila and Michele Mosca and Norbert Lütkenhaus},
      title = {The Case for Quantum Key Distribution},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2009/082},
      year = {2009},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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