Study: Not All Secure Quantum Message Authentication Codes are Better than Classical Codes

Information-Theoretically Secure Data Origin Authentication with Quantum and Classical Resources


+  In conventional cryptography, information-theoretically secure message authentication can be achieved by means of universal hash functions, and requires that the two legitimate users share a random secret key, which is at least twice as long as the tag.

+  We address the question of whether quantum resources can offer any advantage over classical unconditionally secure message authentication codes. It is shown that a broad class of symmetric prepare-and-measure quantum message-authentication schemes cannot do better than their classical counterparts.


+  We have discussed unconditionally secure data origin authentication by means of classical and quantum resources. The main question we have addressed is whether prepare-and-measure QMACs can outperform classical unconditionally secure MACs. This fundamental question is of pivotal importance for the field, and to the best of our knowledge, it has not been addressed adequately in the literature so far. Although losses and imperfections are inevitable in the realization of any quantum protocol, it is always important to know beforehand if a task can be achieved, at least ideally, in the most basic communication scenario. Hence, the above question has been addressed in the framework of 1-time authentication under an ideal scenario. We showed that even under such favorable conditions, a broad class of prepare-and-measure QMACs cannot do better than their classical counterparts, in the sense that they cannot attain deception probabilities. This result contradicts certain conjectures that have been made in previous related work.

+  The present analysis and results pertain to a particular yet rather broad class of symmetric prepare-and-measure QMACs. From practical point of view, such a type of QMACs is of particular interest, because the receiver can decide on the authenticity of the message based solely on the received message-tag pair, and there is no need for additional communication between the sender and the receiver. The present work may serve as a benchmark for future work in the field. More precisely, the generality of the results suggests that any future efforts for the development of unconditionally secure QMACs, which can outperform their classical counterparts, should focus on protocols outside the present class of protocols (this is for instance the case of interactive and/or entanglement-assisted QMACs). An alternative possible direction of research involves the use of physical unclonable functions with quantum readout and references.

Source:  MDPI.  Georgios M. Nikolopoulos & Marc Fischlin,  Information-Theoretically Secure Data Origin Authentication with Quantum and Classical Resources…

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