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

News

  • 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. You can also expect higher salary than Canadian average for postdocs. If you have several journal publications in quantum cryptography or closely related field, you may qualify. Contact Vadim.

  • 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).

  • August 2013. Huff... QCrypt the 3rd international conference on quantum cryptography, hosted at IQC this year, is over. It was a heavy task for our institute and our students to house it.

  • January 2013. Our laboratory has been the first at the Institute for Quantum Computing to move to the new Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre building. We are located in room QNC 3303 (and will relocate to QNC 3301 once additional construction there is complete). We have to say the building is fantastic, and the wait has been worth it.

  • September 2012. Quantum teleportation experiment over record 143 km distance has been published in Nature (also available in free preprint). Here you can see
    Alice & Charlie on La Palma, in Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope. Green tracking beam is pointing over 143 km to Tenerife. Image ©2011 IQOQI Vienna
     sender Alice on La Palma 
    and Bob on Tenerife, in ESA Optical Ground Station telescope. Green tracking beam is pointing over 143 km to La Palma. Image ©2011 IQOQI Vienna
     receiver Bob on Tenerife,
    shooting bright green alignment beams at each other. The actual quantum states being teleported are carried by red single photons along the same path, and are invisible to the eye. Our lab’s modest contribution to this experiment was to provide special low-noise single-photon detectors, used in Bob on Tenerife. See press about this experiment.

  • June 2012. Vadim Makarov’s lecture on quantum hacking may be a good introduction to this topic, if you have an hour to watch it:
      
    Table of contents for this video:
    00:00 Introduction to quantum key distribution technology (prior basic knowledge of quantum cryptography is recommended)
    14:26 Introduction to quantum hacking
    21:58 Bugs in random number generator; the need to trust the manufacturer
    30:55 Double clicks
    33:53 Trojan-horse attack
    42:51 Overview of recent attacks
    44:57 Detector attacks; eavesdropping demonstrations; faking the Bell inequality
    1:10:55 Communicating with the manufacturers; countermeasure development
    A similar lecture is given annually at ID Quantique winter school on practical quantum communications.
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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 accessible short news articles about us (picked from larger press archive):

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

Current collaborations

   Whiteboard drawing by our students
Our cat is always alive!

 
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

 
4-channel single-photon detector prototype for mobile quantum receiver. Image ©2014 Vadim Makarov / IQC
Prototype of single-photon detector module for Canadian quantum satellite

 
Elena Anisimova and Vadim Makarov, holding new and old models of photon detectors
Low-noise single-photon detectors made in our lab

 
Qin Liu assembles faked-state generator
Assembling equipment for an eavesdropping experiment

 
 
 
 
 Eve :(