The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) published a study rating possible attacks against Quantum Key Distribution QKD systems in a comprehensive study (in English) reviewing over 300 relevant research papers. They found 49 possible attack paths and 9 vulnerabilities with a total of 18 potential counter-measures. The complexity of executing most of these falls into the category “moderate” (26), meaning a real possible threat, with 13 in “high” and the rest in “basic” and “beyond high”. The main contributors (out of factors such as time, money, expertise, equipment needed) to these ratings are the facts that in most cases, an expertise ranging from ‘Proficient’ to ‘Expert’ and equipment ranging from ‘Specialised’ to ‘Bespoke’ is required to mount these attacks. While this analysis is based on some strong assumptions it provides a fascinating look inside what’s coming in quantum tech.

An English version of the report from BSI is available here.

January 13, 2024