[cryptography] Well, that's depressing. Now what?

Noon Silk noonslists at gmail.com
Fri Jan 27 21:43:43 EST 2012

On Sat, Jan 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM, Nico Williams <nico at cryptonector.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 3:49 PM, Sven Moritz Hallberg <pesco at khjk.org> wrote:
>> On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 13:39:44 -0500, Warren Kumari <warren at kumari.net> wrote:
>>> Surely I am missing something here? Or is that really the news?
>> I thought the same thing and skimmed (very incompletely) through the
>> paper. They do talk about how to hide the saved bits in later sessions
>> of particular QKD protocols, so maybe there is something inherent there
>> that would make such an attack, say, especially hard to detect in the
>> QKD setting?
> Well, if there were covert, deniable, quantum side-channels in QKD
> that the vendor could exploit practically undetectably, then yes, QKD
> would suddenly become not just snake oil but poisonous snake oil.
> OTOH, if this is just a worry that QKD devices might be compromised
> (whether purposefully by the vendor or unwittingly), then this is
> nothing new, and QKD remains snake oil.

I think it's important to note that it's obviously completely wrong to
say "QKD is snake-oil", what you *can* say is that someone *selling*
*any* demonstratably-insecure crypto device as a secure one, is snake
oil. So, that is to say, you can only claim snake-oil in reference to
a vendor and a device, not a field of research.

> Quantum authentication that
> scales (as opposed to requiring pair-wise physical exchange of
> entangled particle pairs) would be a neat trick -perhaps applying
> Needham-Schoeder?- but it'd still be a novelty/curiosity IMO.
> The idea that QKD is in use by the military gives me pause, unless
> it's either completely redundant and classical crypto is still used
> (wasteful, yes, but that's a lesser concern), or the military using
> QKD is an enemy of the cause of liberty (in which case never mind and
> keep at it boys!).
> Nico
> --

Noon Silk

Fancy a quantum lunch? https://sites.google.com/site/quantumlunch/

"Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy — the joy
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