A Thorough Study of State Leakage Mitigation in Quantum Computing with One-Time Pad


The ability for users to access quantum computers through the cloud has increased rapidly in recent years. Despite still being Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) machines, modern quantum computers are now being actively employed for research and by numerous startups. Quantum algorithms typically produce probabilistic results, necessitating repeated execution to produce the desired outcomes. In order for the execution to begin from the specified ground state each time and for the results of the prior execution not to interfere with the results of the subsequent execution, the reset mechanism must be performed between each iteration to effectively reset the qubits. However, due to noise and errors in quantum computers and specifically these reset mechanisms, a noisy reset operation may lead to systematic errors in the overall computation, as well as potential security and privacy vulnerabilities of information leakage. To counter this issue, we thoroughly examine the state leakage problem in quantum computing, and then propose a solution by employing the classical and quantum one-time pads before the reset mechanism to prevent the state leakage, which works by randomly applying simple gates for each execution of the circuit. In addition, this work explores conditions under which the classical one-time pad, which uses fewer resources, is sufficient to protect state leakage. Finally, we study the role of various errors in state leakage, by evaluating the degrees of leakage under different error levels of gate, measurement, and sampling errors. Our findings offer new perspectives on the design of reset mechanisms and secure quantum computing systems.

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.