Quantum Cryptography

Quantum Cryptography is unique in many aspects; it has the ability to perform tasks that are not possible with the conventional cryptography. Stephen Wiesner proposed the initial ideas but his ideas were brought into execution by Charles H. Bennett and Gilles Brassardin. They presented a series of documents to comprehend that in case of information storage, instead of using single quanta, this process can be more applicable. 1984, the first quantum cryptography protocol “BB84”was established.

Fundamentals of Quantum Cryptography:

Quantum Cryptography is the synthesis of quantum machines along with the art of code making. It perform tasks more easily by using subtle properties of quantum machines for instance the Heisenberg uncertainty principle or the quantum no-cloning theorem.

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Quantum Computing, quantum measurements and quantum teleportation all come under Quantum Cryptography. The quantum mechanical systems can help to accomplish the information processing responsibilities. Quantum Cryptography uses the laws of quantum mechanics for creating new cryptographic primitives. But unfortunately, in today’s technology, the features that these primitives offer are not achievable with classical methods. However Quantum Key Distribution known as QKD is achievable today and can provide entirely secure communication.

Quantum Key Distribution:

“Quantum Key Distribution is a secure communication that can’t be compromised by eavesdropping methods”. Peev et al [MP08].

With traditional cryptography it is not possible to afford any signs of eavesdropping but Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) has the ability to detect the presence of any third party who tries to get knowledge of the key. It is basically a technique for sharing secret keys whose security can be formally established. The research efforts for Quantum key distribution were increased during 1990s, at that time it was confirmed that quantum computers can break the public key cryptosystem that is generally used in cryptography.

Where does Quantum Key Distribution fit in?

QKD being a key establishment protocol generates a key material with quantum properties of light for transferring information through incontrovertible outcomes of the quantum mechanics. It has the potential to focus on any eavesdropping by an adversary. QKD can efficiently be used to drive a key which can be further used for encrypting plaintext to provide unconditional safety.


In Quantum Key Distribution, keys cannot be subject to any threat from quantum computers or break through algorithms as it can produce and dispense provably secure keys and can defeat the current computationally complex key exchange techniques. It is because it generates random strings for shared secrets. Although it is rapidly becoming a solid commercial proposition but being a costly technology, QKD requires a dedicated hardware. It has evolved into a thriving experimental field and multiple QKD networks have been implemented around the globe. To protect data against developments to computer power this technology is suggested by the Quantum-Safe Security working Group (QSSWG).

Although company’s such as IBM and others have demonstrated Quantum Cryptography in their labs but relatively it is a fairly new concept. Few of the researches have also been carried out and they have been successful for transmitting photon bits up to 60 kilometers through the air but only in limited areas with favorable conditions. Technology still needs to push forward in order to make Quantum Cryptography more practical.

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Written by Hisham Sarwar


That is all you ever need to know about me but let me warn you, freelancing for me is a journey, certainly not a destination :)