A classical key-distribution system based on Johnson (like) noise-How secure?

Jacob Scheuer*, Amnon Yariv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a comprehensive analysis of the Johnson (like) noise based classical key-distribution scheme presented by Kish [L.B. Kish, Phys. Lett. A 352 (2006) 178]. We suggest two passive attack strategies that enable an adversary to gain complete knowledge of the exchanged key. The first approach exploits the transient response of the voltage in the transmission line after the resistors are switched and the second one exploits the finite impedance of the wire connecting the two parties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-740
Number of pages4
JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2006


  • Classical information
  • Eavesdropper detection
  • Electronic noise
  • Quantum key distribution
  • Secure communication


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