Lasers crack commercial encryption systems

mheyman at mheyman at
Mon Aug 30 09:02:53 EDT 2010

From: <>

   Quantum hackers have performed the first 'invisible' attack on two commercial
   quantum cryptographic systems...they have fully cracked their
encryption keys,
   yet left no trace of the hack..."Our hack gave 100% knowledge of
the key, with
   zero disturbance to the system," he says...In Makarov and colleagues' hack,
   Eve [blinds] Bob's detector — shining a continuous, 1-milliwatt
laser at it. While
   Bob's detector is thus disabled, Eve can then intercept Alice's signal...The
   cunning part is that while blinded, Bob's detector cannot function
as a 'quantum
   detector' that distinguishes between different quantum states of
incoming light.
   However, it does still work as a 'classical detector' — recording a
bit value of 1
   if it is hit by an additional bright light pulse, regardless of the
quantum properties
   of that pulse.


Michael HEyman

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