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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 17 — Aug. 13, 2012
  • pp: 18911–18924

Real-time monitoring of single-photon detectors against eavesdropping in quantum key distribution systems

Thiago Ferreira da Silva, Guilherme B. Xavier, Guilherme P. Temporão, and Jean Pierre von der Weid  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 17, pp. 18911-18924 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.018911


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Abstract

By employing real-time monitoring of single-photon avalanche photodiodes we demonstrate how two types of practical eavesdropping strategies, the after-gate and time-shift attacks, may be detected. Both attacks are identified with the detectors operating without any special modifications, making this proposal well suited for real-world applications. The monitoring system is based on accumulating statistics of the times between consecutive detection events, and extracting the afterpulse and overall efficiency of the detectors in real-time using mathematical models fit to the measured data. We are able to directly observe changes in the afterpulse probabilities generated from the after-gate and faint after-gate attacks, as well as different timing signatures in the time-shift attack. We also discuss the applicability of our scheme to other general blinding attacks.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(270.5570) Quantum optics : Quantum detectors
(040.1345) Detectors : Avalanche photodiodes (APDs)
(270.5565) Quantum optics : Quantum communications
(270.5568) Quantum optics : Quantum cryptography

ToC Category:
Quantum Optics

History
Original Manuscript: May 22, 2012
Revised Manuscript: July 24, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: July 28, 2012
Published: August 2, 2012

Citation
Thiago Ferreira da Silva, Guilherme B. Xavier, Guilherme P. Temporão, and Jean Pierre von der Weid, "Real-time monitoring of single-photon detectors against eavesdropping in quantum key distribution systems," Opt. Express 20, 18911-18924 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-20-17-18911


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