Thanks to recent breakthroughs in hardware development, it is likely that we will see a large-scale quantum computer in the next decades. A large-scale quantum computer will be able to break the security of most of modern-day cryptography.
Quantum key distribution is already available commercially over short distances. To enable distances over 300 km, a quantum repeater is required. This is one of the experimental challenges in quantum cryptography. Quantum key distribution (QKD) allows the generation of cryptographic keys based on the laws of quantum mechanics. In contrast to public-key cryptography, QKD has been proven to be unconditionally secure, meaning secure against any attack, even in the future, irrespective of computing power or any other resources that may be used.
The research groups at CWI work on design and implementation of new quantum cryptographic primitives, like unbreakable location-verification involving realistic amounts of entanglement, as well as on the analysis, design and implementation of classical cryptographic primitives secure against quantum attacks. Ultimately, our research will make cryptography ready for the quantum age and improve the privacy of individuals, companies and public administration.
Contact person: Harry Buhrman
Research groups: Algorithms and Complexity (A&C), Cryptology (CR)
Research partner: IDQuantique