Security

A Method of Authentication for Quantum Networks

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Executive Summary

Quantum cryptography offers a way of key agreement, which is unbreakable by an eavesdropping adversary. Authentication is of crucial importance, as perfect secrecy is worthless if the identity of the addressee cannot be ensured before sending important information. Message authentication has been studied thoroughly, but no approach seems to be able to explicitly counter meet-in-the-middle impersonation attacks. The goal of this paper is the development of an authentication scheme being resistant against active adversaries controlling the communication channel. The scheme is built on top of a key-establishment protocol and is unconditionally secure if built upon quantum cryptographic key exchange. In general, the security is the same as for the key-agreement protocol lying underneath.

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