Towards an Antivirus for Quantum Computers

Abstract

Researchers are today exploring models for cloud-based usage of quantum computers where multi-tenancy can be used to share quantum computer hard-ware among multiple users. Multi-tenancy has a promise of allowing better utilization of the quantum computer hardware, but also opens up the quantum computer to new types of security attacks. As this and other recent research shows, it is possible to perform a fault injection attack using crosstalk on quantum computers when a victim and attacker circuits are instantiated as co-tenants on the same quantum computer. To ensure such attacks do not happen, this paper proposes that new techniques should be developed to help catch malicious circuits before they are loaded onto quantum computer hardware. Following ideas from classical computers, a compile-time technique can be designed to scan quantum computer programs for mali-cious or suspicious code patterns before they are compiled into quantum circuits that run on a quantum computer. This paper presents ongoing work which demonstrates how crosstalk can affect Grover’s algorithm, and then presents suggestions of how quantum programs could be analyzed to catch circuits that generate large amounts of crosstalk with malicious intent.

Publication
IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST)
Chuanqi Xu
Chuanqi Xu
Ph.D. Student

I am a PhD student at Yale University, and my research interests lie in quantum computing and computer security. I am currently working on quantum computer security, where I design attack and defense mechanisms on quantum computers and quantum cloud providers. I am also working on RTL design (Verilog) targeting FPGAs, where I implement Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) schemes that are secure under both classical and quantum computer attacks.