Authentication is an indispensable part of Quantum Cryptography, which is an unconditionally secure key distribution technique based on the laws of nature. Without proper authentication, Quantum Cryptography is vulnerable to “man-in-the-middle” attacks. Therefore, to guarantee unconditional security of any Quantum Cryptographic protocols, the authentication used must also be unconditionally secure. The standard in Quantum Cryptography is to use theWegman-Carter authentication, which is unconditionally secure and is based on the idea of universal hashing.
In this thesis, we first investigate properties of a Strongly Universal hash function family to facilitate understanding the properties of (classical) authentication used in Quantum Cryptography. Then, we study vulnerabilities of a recently proposed authentication protocol intended to rule out a "man-in-the-middle" attack on Quantum Cryptography. Here, we point out that the proposed authentication primitive is not secure when used in a generic Quantum Cryptographic protocol. Lastly, we estimate the lifetime of authentication using encrypted tags when the encryption key is partially known. Under simplifying assumptions, we derive that the lifetime is linearly dependent on the length of the authentication key. Experimental results that support the theoretical results are also presented.