Creation of backdoors in quantum communications via laser damage

Vadim Makarov, Jean Philippe Bourgoin, Poompong Chaiwongkhot, Mathieu Gagné, Thomas Jennewein, Sarah Kaiser, Raman Kashyap, Matthieu Legré, Carter Minshull, Shihan Sajeed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Practical quantum communication (QC) protocols are assumed to be secure provided implemented devices are properly characterized and all known side channels are closed. We show that this is not always true. We demonstrate a laser-damage attack capable of modifying device behavior on demand. We test it on two practical QC systems for key distribution and coin tossing, and show that newly created deviations lead to side channels. This reveals that laser damage is a potential security risk to existing QC systems, and necessitates their testing to guarantee security.

Original languageEnglish
Article number030302
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


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