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Conditional beam-splitting attack on quantum key distribution

Barnett, Stephen M. and Calsamiglia, John and Lütkenhaus, Norbert (2001) Conditional beam-splitting attack on quantum key distribution. Physical Review A, 65 (1). 012312-1. ISSN 1094-1622

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We present a different attack on quantum key distribution based on the idea of adaptive absorption [J. Calsamiglia et al., Phys. Rev. A (64, 043814 (2001)]. The conditional beam-splitting attack is shown to be much more efficient than the conventional beam splitting attack, achieving a performance similar to the, powerful but currently unfeasible, photon number splitting attack. The implementation of the conditional beam-splitting attack, based solely on linear optical elements, is well within the reach of current technology.