Quantum Key Establishment

Let’s learn about a technique that establishes a conventional symmetric key with some relevance to quantum computers.

Motivation behind quantum key establishment

Earlier, we discussed one-time pads and argued they represented ‘ideal’ cryptosystems offering perfect secrecy. However, we pointed out substantial practical problems with implementing a one-time pad. These were all essentially key management problems, perhaps the most serious being the potential need to establish long, randomly generated symmetric keys at two different locations.

If an efficient way could securely establish long, randomly generated symmetric keys between two parties, then perhaps a one-time pad could be used in practice. This is one motivation behind quantum key establishment, which aims to do precisely this.

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