An approach to experimental photonic quantum digital signatures in fiber

Donaldson, R.J. and Collins, R.J. and Dunjko, V. and Clarke, P.J. and Andersson, E. and Jeffers, J. and Buller, G.S. (2013) An approach to experimental photonic quantum digital signatures in fiber. In: Emerging Technologies in Security and Defence; and Quantum Security II; and Unmanned Sensor Systems X. Proceedings of SPIE . SPIE, Bellingham. ISBN 9780819497680

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Abstract

As society becomes more reliant on electronic communication and transactions, ensuring the security of these interactions becomes more important. Digital signatures are a widely used form of cryptography which allows parties to certify the origins of their communications, meaning that one party, a sender, can send information to other parties in such a way that messages cannot be forged. In addition, messages are transferrable, meaning that a recipient who accepts a message as genuine can be sure that if it is forwarded to another recipient, it will again be accepted as genuine. The classical digital signature schemes currently employed typically rely on computational complexity for security. Quantum digital signatures offer the potential for increased security. In our system, quantum signature states are passed through a network of polarization maintaining fiber interferometers (a multiport) to ensure that recipients will not disagree on the validity of a message. These signatures are encoded in the phase of photonic coherent states and the choice of photon number, signature length and number of possible phase states affects the level of security possible by this approach. We will give a brief introduction into quantum digital signatures and present results from our experimental demonstration system.