Optimizing Decoy State Enabled Quantum Key Distribution Systems to Maximize Quantum Throughput and Detect Photon Number Splitting Attacks with High Confidence

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Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is an innovative quantum communications protocol which exploits the laws of quantum mechanics to generate unconditionally secure cryptographic keying material between two geographically separated parties. The unique nature of QKD shows promise for high-security applications such as those found in banking, government, and military environments. However, QKD systems contain implementation non-idealities which can negatively impact their performance and this http URL particular, QKD systems often employ the decoy state protocol to improve system throughput and mitigate the threat of Photon Number Splitting (PNS) attacks. In this work, a detailed analysis of the decoy state protocol is conducted which optimizes both performance in terms of quantum throughput and security with respect to detecting PNS attacks. The results of this study uniquely demonstrate that the decoy state protocol can ensure PNS attacks are detected with high confidence, while maximizing the secure key generation rate at no additional cost. Additionally, implementation security guidance is provided for QKD system developers and users.


Published in the arXiv eprint repository under the - Non-exclusive license to distribute.