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Abstract

There is an ongoing debate about the fundamental security of existing quantum key exchange schemes. This debate indicates not only that there is a problem with security but also that the meanings of perfect, imperfect, conditional and unconditional (information theoretic) security in physically secure key exchange schemes are often misunderstood. It has been shown recently that the use of two pairs of resistors with enhanced Johnsonnoise and a Kirchhoff-loop ‒ i.e., a Kirchhoff-Law-Johnson-Noise (KLJN) protocol ‒ for secure key distribution leads to information theoretic security levels superior to those of today’s quantum key distribution. This issue is becoming particularly timely because of the recent full cracks of practical quantum communicators, as shown in numerous peer-reviewed publications. The KLJN system is briefly surveyed here with discussions about the essential questions such as (i) perfect and imperfect security characteristics of the key distribution, and (ii) how these two types of securities can be unconditional (or information theoretical).
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Abstract

The Kirchhoff-law-Johnson-noise (KLJN) scheme is a statistical/physical secure key exchange system based on the laws of classical statistical physics to provide unconditional security. We used the LTSPICE industrial cable and circuit simulator to emulate one of the major active (invasive) attacks, the current injection attack, against the ideal and a practical KLJN system, respectively. We show that two security enhancement techniques, namely, the instantaneous voltage/current comparison method, and a simple privacy amplification scheme, independently and effectively eliminate the information leak and successfully preserve the system’s unconditional security.
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