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(to be completed)

 


ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Security, volume 9, numbers 3 and 4, 2016 // View article sec_v9_n34_2016_1


On the Resilience of a QKD Key Synchronization Protocol for IPsec

Authors:
Stefan Marksteiner
Benjamin Rainer
Oliver Maurhart

Keywords: Quantum Key Distribution; QKD; IPsec; Cryptography; Security; Networks

Abstract:
This paper presents a practical solution to the problem of limited bandwidth in Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)- secured communication through using rapidly rekeyed Internet Protocol security (IPsec) links. QKD is a cutting-edge security technology that provides mathematically proven security by using quantum physical effects and information theoretical axioms to generate a guaranteed non-disclosed stream of encryption keys. Although it has been a field of theoretical research for some time, it has only been producing market-ready solutions for a short period of time. The downside of this technology is that its key generation rate is only around 52,000 key bits per second over a distance of 50 km. As this rate limits the data throughput to the same rate, it is substandard for normal modern communications, especially for securely interconnecting networks. IPsec, on the other hand, is a well-known security protocol that uses classical encryption and is capable of exactly creating site-to-site virtual private networks. This paper presents a solution that combines the performance advantages of IPsec with QKD. The combination sacrifices only a small portion of QKD security by using the generated keys a limited number of times instead of just once. As a part of this, the solution answers the question of how many data bits per key bit make sensible upper and lower boundaries to yield high performance while maintaining high security. While previous approaches complement the Internet Key Exchange protocol (IKE), this approach simplifies the implementation with a new key synchronization concept, proposing a lightweight protocol that uses relatively few, slim control messages and sparse acknowledgement. Furthermore, it provides a Linux-based module for the AIT QKD software using the Netlink XFRM Application Programmers Interface to feed the quantum key to the IPsec cipher. This enables wire-speed, QKD-secured communication links for business applications. This paper, apart from the description of the solution itself, describes the surrounding software environment, including the key exchange, and illustrates the results of thorough test simulations with a variety of different protocol parameter settings.

Pages: 90 to 100

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2016. Used with permission.

Publication date: December 31, 2016

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2636

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