35th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC 2019)

Full Program »

TW1: Integrating Quantum Concepts into Cybersecurity

Monday, 9 December 2019
08:30 - 12:00

Boardroom I


The potential for realizing quantum-based networks and distributed systems has now been realized through reports of networks in excess of 2000km and commercial quantum based private communication networks reported as complete. Quantum based cloud services are now under development on a commercial basis and a quantum-based internet is proposed for the future. Associated with these and other developments in for example, types of computer, programming paradigms, operating systems, and event ordering, issues emerge as new quantum concepts are integrated into the cybersecurity landscape.

In this workshop, aimed primarily at researchers new to quantum concepts, we consider a range of underlying concepts employed in the development of ‘secure’ systems for both classical and quantum-based networks and distributed systems. From a quantum perspective we will discuss different types of qubit, qudits, superposition, discrete and continuous states, multipartite states, mixed states, entanglement, gates and measurement and their incorporation into the cybersecurity  environment.

Research in quantum distributed systems and networks is now said to be in its second wave developing the potential for applications in, for example, satellite communication, quantum-based resources and secure communication.  


Elements from linear algebra (vectors, matrices, …)

Required Equipment

Attendees should bring a laptop.


We compare and contrast classical and quantum communication systems with a view to identifying similarities and differences that exist between the two, to present a selection of advantages and disadvantages in employing such paradigms and to consider a selection of vulnerabilities from each, within for example an attacker defender perspective. From a hands on perspective, we seek to present a selection of activities that participants can engage in, in order to develop and extend their  nderstanding in working with quantum systems.

  1. Introduction (1 Hour 30 Mins)
    1. Overview
    2. Assets, Motivation, Attackers and Vulnerabilities
    3. A comparison of Classical and Quantum States
    4. Reversible and irreversible Gates
    5. Activity 1
  2. Classical and Quantum Networks (1 Hour 30 Mins)
    1.  Communication Channels
    2. Activity 2a – Threat models
    3. Networks and Distributed Systems
    4. Activity 2b – Threat Models
  3. Algorithms (1 Hour 30 Mins)
    1. Key agreement protocols
    2. Activity 3a
    3. Shors and PQC/Quantum Free Algorithms
    4. Activity 3b
  4. A selection of Attack vectors and their Defense (1 Hour 30 Mins)
    1. Intrusion Prevention and Detection
    2. Quantum Malware
    3. Activity 4

About the Instructor

Dr. William Joseph Spring is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. As a member of the University STRI Research Centre and School Algorithms, AI and Information Research Groups, his research interests include Modelling and Problem Solving Strategies, Classical and Quantum Based Security for Distributed Systems, (Cybersecurity, Voting Schemes, Cryptography, Protocols, Risk, Algorithms, Programming Paradigms), and Quantum Stochastic Theory. My PhD students are engaged in areas relating to the above. He was co-author on the first paper written on quantum based voting schemes. From a lecturing perspective, he is involved in a range of modules that include cybersecurity at both the postgraduate level (Distributed Systems Security, Secure Systems Programming, Computational Algorithms and Paradigms) and the undergraduate level (Quantum Computing, Cyber Security).

In addition to his lectures in the UK, he has also delivered short courses in India relating to classical and quantum networks, classical and quantum cryptography and have presented a talk on quantum distributed systems to the British Computer Society.


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