A Static-loop-current Attack Against the Kirchhoff-Law-Johnson-Noise (KLJN) Secure Key Exchange System Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, a new attack against the Kirchhoff-Law-Johnson-Noise (KLJN) key distribution system is explored. The attack is based on utilizing a parasitic voltage-source in the loop. Relevant situations often exist in the low-frequency limit in practical systems, especially when the communication is over a distance, or between different units within an instrument, due to a ground loop and/or electromagnetic interference (EMI). Our present study investigates the DC ground loop situation when no AC or EMI effects are present. Surprisingly, the usual current/voltage comparison-based defense method that exposes active attacks or parasitic features (such as wire resistance allowing information leaks) does not function here. The attack is successfully demonstrated and proposed defense methods against the attack are shown.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Melhem, M. Y., & Kish, L. B.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Melhem, Mutaz Y||Kish, Laszlo B

publication date

  • January 2019