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Physical key-protected one-time pad

Horstmeyer, Roarke and Judkewitz, Benjamin and Vellekoop, Ivo M. and Assawaworrarit, Sid and Yang, Changhuei (2013) Physical key-protected one-time pad. Scientific Reports, 3 . Art. No. 3543 . ISSN 2045-2322. PMCID PMC3866593.

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We describe an encrypted communication principle that forms a secure link between two parties without electronically saving either of their keys. Instead, random cryptographic bits are kept safe within the unique mesoscopic randomness of two volumetric scattering materials. We demonstrate how a shared set of patterned optical probes can generate 10 gigabits of statistically verified randomness between a pair of unique 2 mm^3 scattering objects. This shared randomness is used to facilitate information-theoretically secure communication following a modified one-time pad protocol. Benefits of volumetric physical storage over electronic memory include the inability to probe, duplicate or selectively reset any bits without fundamentally altering the entire key space. Our ability to securely couple the randomness contained within two unique physical objects can extend to strengthen hardware required by a variety of cryptographic protocols, which is currently a critically weak link in the security pipeline of our increasingly mobile communication culture.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper CentralArticle
Horstmeyer, Roarke0000-0002-2480-9141
Yang, Changhuei0000-0001-8791-0354
Additional Information:© 2013 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 23 September 2013; Accepted 2 December 2013; Published 18 December 2013. The authors thank Ying Min Wang for constructive discussions, as well as Mark Harfouche and Richard Chen for helpful manuscript feedback. R.H. acknowledges support in part by the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program. B.J. is recipient of the Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust. Author contributions: R.H., B.J. and I.V. and C.Y. conceived and developed the initial idea together. I.V. conceived the final protocol. R.H. designed the experiment, built the setup, and collected the data. R.H. and S.A. performed data and security analysis. All authors collectively wrote the manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Sir Henry Wellcome FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Information storage; Optical data storage; Micro-optics
PubMed Central ID:PMC3866593
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140116-132831677
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Official Citation:Horstmeyer, R., Judkewitz, B., Vellekoop, I.M., Assawaworrarit, S. & Yang, C.H. Physical key-protected one-time pad. Sci. Rep. 3, 3543; DOI:10.1038/ srep03543 (2013)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43413
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Jan 2014 21:38
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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