Critical Analysis of the Bennett–Riedel Attack on Secure Cryptographic Key Distributions via the Kirchhoff-Law–Johnson-Noise Scheme Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Recently, Bennett and Riedel (BR) (http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.7435v1) argued that thermodynamics is not essential in the Kirchhoff-law-Johnson-noise (KLJN) classical physical cryptographic exchange method in an effort to disprove the security of the KLJN scheme. They attempted to demonstrate this by introducing a dissipation-free deterministic key exchange method with two batteries and two switches. In the present paper, we first show that BR's scheme is unphysical and that some elements of its assumptions violate basic protocols of secure communication. All our analyses are based on a technically unlimited Eve with infinitely accurate and fast measurements limited only by the laws of physics and statistics. For non-ideal situations and at active (invasive) attacks, the uncertainly principle between measurement duration and statistical errors makes it impossible for Eve to extract the key regardless of the accuracy or speed of her measurements. To show that thermodynamics and noise are essential for the security, we crack the BR system with 100% success via passive attacks, in ten different ways, and demonstrate that the same cracking methods do not function for the KLJN scheme that employs Johnson noise to provide security underpinned by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. We also present a critical analysis of some other claims by BR; for example, we prove that their equations for describing zero security do not apply to the KLJN scheme. Finally we give mathematical security proofs for each BR-attack against the KLJN scheme and conclude that the information theoretic (unconditional) security of the KLJN method has not been successfully challenged.

altmetric score

  • 1.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Kish, L. B., Abbott, D., & Granqvist, C. G.

citation count

  • 22

publication date

  • January 2013