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In Entropy (Basel, Switzerland)

In quantum key distribution (QKD), there are some security loopholes opened by the gaps between the theoretical model and the practical system, and they may be exploited by eavesdroppers (Eve) to obtain secret key information without being detected. This is an effective quantum hacking strategy that seriously threatens the security of practical QKD systems. In this paper, we propose a new quantum hacking attack on an integrated silicon photonic continuous-variable quantum key distribution (CVQKD) system, which is known as a power analysis attack. This attack can be implemented by analyzing the power originating from the integrated electrical control circuit in state preparation with the help of machine learning, where the state preparation is assumed to be perfect in initial security proofs. Specifically, we describe a possible power model and show a complete attack based on a support vector regression (SVR) algorithm. The simulation results show that the secret key information decreases with the increase of the accuracy of the attack, especially in a situation with less excess noise. In particular, Eve does not have to intrude into the transmitter chip (Alice), and may perform a similar attack in practical chip-based discrete-variable quantum key distribution (DVQKD) systems. To resist this attack, the electrical control circuit should be improved to randomize the corresponding power. In addition, the power can be reduced by utilizing the dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) technology.

Zheng Yi, Shi Haobin, Pan Wei, Wang Quantao, Mao Jiahui


integrated continuous-variable quantum key distribution, practical security, quantum hacking