Cryptanalysis on authenticated semi-quantum key distribution protocol using Bell states



Recently, Yu et al. (Quantum Inf Process 13(6):1457–1465, 2014) proposed the first semi-quantum scheme without the need of a classical channel to generate a secret key, while employing a “master key” and the entanglement properties of Bell states. This study points out a vulnerability that allows a malicious person to recover a partial master key and to launch a successful Man-In-The-Middle attack. Accordingly, we present the most likely leakage information scenarios where an outside attacker affects the security of the proposed protocol.


Semi-quantum sharing information Quantum communication security Quantum attacks Quantum cryptography Cryptanalysis 


  1. 1.
    Bennett, C.H., Brassard, G.: Quantum cryptography: public key distribution and coin tossing. In: Proceedings of IEEE Int. Conf. on Computers, Systems, and Signal Processing, Bangalore, (IEEE, New York), pp. 175–179 (1984)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bennett, C.H., Bessette, F., Brassard, G., salvail, L., Smolin, J.: Experimental quantum cryptography. J. Cryptol. 5, 3–28 (1992)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bennett, C.H.: Quantum cryptography using any two nonorthogonal states. Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 3121 (1992)ADSMathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ekert, A.K.: Quantum cryptography based on Bell’s theorem. Phys. Rev. Lett. 67, 661 (1992)ADSMathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boyer, M., Gelles, R., Kenigsberg, D., Mor, T.: Quantum key distribution with classical Bob. Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 140501 (2007)ADSMathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boyer, M., Gelles, R., Kenigsberg, D., Mor, T.: Semiquantum key distribution. Phys. Rev. A 79, 032341 (2009)ADSMathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Yu, K.F., Yang, C.W., Liao, C.H., Hwang, T.: Authenticated semi-quantum key distribution protocol using Bell states. Quantum Inf. Process. 13(6), 1457–1465 (2014)ADSMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Barbieri, M., De Martini, F., Di Nepi, G., Mataloni, P., D’Ariano, G.M., Macchiavello, C.: Detection of entanglement with polarized photons: experimental realization of an entanglement witness. Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 227901 (2003)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gühne, O., Lütkenhaus, N.: Nonlinear entanglement witnesses. Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 170502 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kahn, D.: The Story of Secrete Writing, in the Codebreakers. Scribner, New York (1996)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wright, P.: Spycatcher: the Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer. Viking, New York (1987)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Benson, R.L., Warner, M.: Introduction to Venona: Soviet Espionage and The American Response. Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC (1996)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physique Théorique, Département de Physique, Faculté des SciencesUniversité Mohammed V - AgdalAgdal, RabatMorocco

Personalised recommendations