Jolly Phi    
Quantum hacking lab
    Institute for Quantum Computing      University of Waterloo  


  • January 2016. We have shown experimentally that a countermeasure against our blinding attacks by C. C. W. Lim et al. does not work.

  • A postdoc position in our group is available. You will primarily do research in our lab, but at the same time be in a very lively quantum information environment consisting of 20+ groups in both theory and experiment, with lots of learning opportunities. You can also expect a higher salary than the Canadian average for postdocs. If you have several journal publications in quantum cryptography or a closely related field, you may qualify. A significant experimental background is required. Contact Vadim.

  • November 2014. Video lectures by Vadim Makarov introduce you into our field of research. Watch the basics & technology of quantum cryptography (50 min, 2014), or an extended lecture course (about 3 hours, 2014): introduction to quantum cryptography, quantum hacking part 1, quantum hacking part 2. For a more general perspective, see Michele Mosca’s public lecture Cybersecurity in a quantum world: will we be ready?

  • September 2014. We congratulate our collaborator Feihu Xu with the Best Student Oral Presentation prize he won at QCrypt 2014. Our group has contributed to the paper he presented at the conference.

  • Cover of Phys. Rev. Lett. vol. 112, no. 7 (PDF)  February 2014. We have shown that security loopholes in quantum communication systems can be created on-demand, by laser damage. Our article is featured in Physics Synopsys, and on the cover of Physical Review Letters. Read the article (PDF).
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Our research

The main direction of research for the Quantum hacking lab is testing practical security of quantum communication systems, finding and demonstrating new loopholes, and helping to develop and test countermeasures. For example, quantum cryptography is absolutely secure in theory. However, practical implementations often deviate from the theory description, which leaves loopholes for eavesdropping. By openly publishing all our results, we ensure hardening of quantum communication technology against all possible attacks. This work will also contribute to certification standards for quantum communication equipment.

Here are some short news articles about us (picked from larger press archive):

We also do some single-photon detector development for long-distance quantum communications, e.g., via satellite.

Current collaborations

Whiteboard drawing by our students   
Our cat is always alive!   
   Click for larger image. ©2014 Vadim Makarov, Scott McManus / IQC
Our lab and students in 2014
Click for larger image. ©2015 Vadim Makarov
PhD student Anqi Huang tests security strength of a commercial quantum cryptography system
Click for larger image. ©2014 Vadim Makarov
Guest researchers Kejin Wei and Feihu Xu work with our PhD student Shihan Sajeed
Click for larger image. ©2014 Vadim Makarov
Undergraduate student Jin Gyu Lim works on an experiment
Click for larger image. ©2014 Vadim Makarov
PhD student Anqi Huang with her team’s prize-winning carving at IQC Halloween party 2014
Live demo of ID Quantique’s commercial quantum cryptography equipment at Quantum-nano centre’s grand opening in Waterloo. Image ©2012 IQC / Peter Kovacs
Public demo of commercial quantum cryptography equipment
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