Information security and the enforcement of secrecy : the practical application of quantum key distribution


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Information security and the enforcement of secrecy : the practical application of quantum key distribution
Langer T.
Ghernaouti  S.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales
Faculté des hautes études commerciales (HEC)Université de LausanneUNIL - DorignyInternef - bureau 317CH-1015 LausanneSUISSE
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There is no doubt about the necessity of protecting digital communication: Citizens are entrusting their most confidential and sensitive data to digital processing and communication, and so do governments, corporations, and armed forces. Digital communication networks are also an integral component of many critical infrastructures we are seriously depending on in our daily lives. Transportation services, financial services, energy grids, food production and distribution networks are only a few examples of such infrastructures. Protecting digital communication means protecting confidentiality and integrity by encrypting and authenticating its contents. But most digital communication is not secure today. Nevertheless, some of the most ardent problems could be solved with a more stringent use of current cryptographic technologies.
Quite surprisingly, a new cryptographic primitive emerges from the ap-plication of quantum mechanics to information and communication theory: Quantum Key Distribution. QKD is difficult to understand, it is complex, technically challenging, and costly-yet it enables two parties to share a secret key for use in any subsequent cryptographic task, with an unprecedented long-term security. It is disputed, whether technically and economically fea-sible applications can be found.
Our vision is, that despite technical difficulty and inherent limitations, Quantum Key Distribution has a great potential and fits well with other cryptographic primitives, enabling the development of highly secure new applications and services. In this thesis we take a structured approach to analyze the practical applicability of QKD and display several use cases of different complexity, for which it can be a technology of choice, either because of its unique forward security features, or because of its practicability.
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25/03/2013 15:13
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20/08/2019 14:46
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