This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Trusted, Third-Party Authenticated, Quantum Key Distribution




Hood, Jonathan

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Computer Science and Software Engineering


This dissertation presents an algorithm that provides a way of establishing trust and authentication. The protocol negotiates a key using extensions to QKD algorithms that include non-repudiation and endpoint verification through a trusted third-party. The new algorithm proves the viability of implementing a trusted third-party in a QKD scheme. Due to the capacity of quantum algorithms, the complexity of the new method is not meaningful to calculate using traditional big O methods. However, the Kolmogorov complexity calculation can be used to determine a form of the algorithm's complexity by measuring the operations it takes the algorithm to reach a successful state of entropy. Additional padding and negotiation with the third party yields a longer entropy calculation than QKD-only algorithms. A reference implementation for the presented algorithm is provided. To test the reference implementation, a simulated quantum environment is created. The quantum simulation model and its correctness in implementing the newly created algorithm are validated for using standard model verification techniques. Experimentation is set up as a "pass" or "fail" scenario. If any party is unable to unpad or decrypt a message, the algorithm is deemed a failure. If a party runs out of negotiated qubits, an entropy error is recorded and up to three retries are attempted. Experimentation on key sizes of at least 100 bits results in successful trusted key negotiation with 99.9999999987% confidence. The results of the experiment culminate in a new algorithm, dubbed HHUYS16, which can be implemented using current technology. This could particularly be useful to government systems that require a quantum network and its assets to be secured. Implementation guidance is provided in the form of a QKD Security Implementation Technical Guideline (STIG); however, DoD implementation requires further coordination among organizations. Further improvements and clarifications can be made with the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) proper identification of quantum-resistant encryption algorithms.