16th Estonian Winter School in Computer Science (EWSCS)
XVI Eesti Arvutiteaduse Talvekool

Palmse, Estonia, February 27 -March 4, 2011

Dominique Unruh

Institute of Computer Science
University of Tartu

Long-term security through quantum cryptography


Algorithmic progress and future technological advances threaten the security of today's cryptographic protocols. Even if an adversary today cannot break the underlying cryptosystems and assumptions, he might still be able to retrospectively break the protocol and retrieve sensitive data if our cryptosystems are broken many years from now. To avoid this, we suggest the use of "long-term secure" protocols. A long-term secure protocol is one that cannot be broken even if an adversary gets unlimited computational resources after the protocol execution.

Unfortunately, however, for many tasks one can prove that long-term secure protocols do not exist. At least not when using classical cryptography. But when using quantum cryptography, i.e., when using quantum mechanical effects in the construction of cryptographic protocols, the situation changes drastically.

In this lecture, I present the tools that quantum cryptography gives us for constructing long-term secure protocols. I discuss how these tools can be used to solve essentially any cryptographic task with long-term security. I give an overview on the open research questions that need to be answered to attain this goal.

You do not need any previous knowledge about quantum mechanics or quantum cryptography for this lecture.

Course materials

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