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Visual & Quantum Cryptography

1. Introduction

In this report, it describes about visual and quantum cryptography. This

cryptography is developed in the beginning of 19th and 20th century respectively, where
the quantum cryptography is more current cryptography that has been found. It is kind of
cryptography modern where the encryption and decryption process not use character
mode anymore. It develops to overcome weakness that has been found in the previous
cryptography algorithm. So, confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-
repudiation services that provide by cryptography can be achieved.

1.1 Visual Cryptography

Visual cryptography is another cryptography algorithm that is introduced by

Moni Naor and Ali Shamir in their paper on 1995. [Moni Naor and Adi Shamir, 1995]. It
is different from quantum cryptography. The differences are lies on the application and
process that will be used. Where the quantum cryptography is applies on the key
distribution, but visual cryptography applies on the media that can be printed. Moreover,
it doesn’t need a complex calculation like mode bit calculation that used by quantum
cryptography. But, visual cryptography uses pixel mode calculation and it just uses
eyesight of human to decrypt the message.
Visual cryptography uses onetime pad concept in its processes. Where one
transparency is a shared random pad, and another transparency acts as ciphertext. The
same thing happened to quantum cryptography algorithm. The onetime pad
cryptography algorithm is associated with quantum key distribution, as it provably
secure when used with a secret random key. [ C. E. Shannon , Bell Syst. Tech. J. 28,
656 (1949)].
1.2 Quantum Cryptography

Quantum cryptography is a kind of quantum key exchange that applies the

quantum mechanics concept inside. It relies on two important pillars of 20th century
quantum mechanics. They are Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the principle of
photon polarization. [Mehrdad].
The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that two pairs of object that are related each
other, characteristics in one another of them will not know if the measurement of
characteristics happened to another one. Secondly, based on the photon polarization
principle explains how light photons can be polarized in a specific direction.
Quantum cryptography is one of an unbreakable cryptography algorithm that has
been found beside onetime pad algorithm. It is a solution to onetime pad algorithm
cryptography in terms of key exchange that is used depends on the length of message. If
the message is quite long then the key that is being used is long too. It needs more time
to remember the long key in that situation. By using the two important pillars of
quantum mechanics that has been explained before, the key exchange between two
parties is secured and easy.

2. Advantage and Disadvantage to other Cryptosystem

2.1 Visual Cryptography

By studying the visual cryptography, there are some advantages of visual

cryptography compare to another cryptography algorithm. Since there is no need a
complex calculation either cryptography knowledge inside to decrypt the image, it is
easy to decrypt by aid visual if the n share of image is overlaid each other. So, everyone
without knowledge of cryptography who has the n-share completely can retrieve what is
the message.
Besides that, there are some disadvantages of visual cryptography. The
distribution of n-share to the receiver is doubt secured. The man in the middle attack
could be exists in between to get the n-share. Then, the n-share would fall down to the
wrong person. Moreover, anyone who has the n-share could decrypt the image easily.
Moreover, the image couldn’t be decrypted because of the n-share that is not complete.
N-1 share is just a random pixel that doesn’t have any meaning. So, the image couldn’t
be decrypt until the n-share is complete.

2.2 Quantum Cryptography

Based on Bennet and Brassart paper, there are two advantages that have been
found in quantum cryptography. [Bennett H.Charles and Brassard Gilles, 1984]. Secured
media is one of the advantages that have been explained through the paper. The media is
called as photon media where it is a kind of light particle that will be used as a media to
transmit the secret key. The secret key transmits using light wave with a certain
polarization direction to the receiver. It is said secured because if there is some of
photon lost or changes during transmission, it means an eavesdropper exists in between.
So, by using this algorithm, it can detect if there is an eavesdropper or not. Compare to
classical cryptography where this algorithm is strong because of the message that has
been encrypted by make a complex calculation inside. But the message still can be
achieved by an eavesdropper without knowing by two parties. There is possibility where
the message can be decrypted so he will know the content of message. The two parties
can’t know if there is an eavesdropper in between. The message still can be sent to the
Besides that, onetime pad concept that has been applied to quantum
cryptography algorithm is another advantage that can be achieved. The selection of
random number or characteristic, not using a certain formula to become the key to
encrypt the message is the concept of onetime pad that is being used in the quantum
cryptography. [MILS electronic paper]. Looking into quantum cryptography algorithm,
the random is lies on the random polarization that will be choose by a sender and
receiver to transmit the secret key. The eavesdropper will not know the random itself so
then he/she will not get the secret key.
Besides having the advantages, quantum cryptography also has the
disadvantages. Based on paper, there are many disadvantages that act as limitation for
quantum cryptograph itself. A comparison to classical cryptography has been described
also in the paper, where it shows that classical cryptography is more better than quantum
cryptography in terms of certain part. Such as, the medium that used to transmit the
secret key, the distance of communication that can be used over millions of kilometers
and the multiple platforms for implementation classical cryptography on both side
hardware and software since some of them are not really support to quantum
cryptography. [Sakthi, Sudharssun, Kumar, Limitations of Quantum & the
Versatility of Classical Cryptography].
Moreover, there is a noise between two parties that would come in the key
exchange process in quantum cryptography. Because of the noise can’t be differentiated
with information tapping, the eavesdropper has a possibility the secret key can be
achieved. Besides that, the eavesdropper can make the communication fail by giving
many errors to the receiver.

3. Application

3.1 Visual Cryptography

Based on the paper, the visual cryptography that is popular is the black and white
pixel that is being used by Moni Naor and Adi Shamir, 1994. In this cryptography, every
pixel of images is appeared on n variation called share. A pixel is divided into two parts,
one white and one black block. If the pixel is divided into four equal parts, there are two
white and two black blocks.
To decrypt the message, n numbers of share could be overlaid. There are two
shares for example, 1st share and 2nd share. If a pixel on 1st share has a given state, the
pixel on 2nd share may have one of two states which are identical or inverted to the pixel
of 1st share. If the pixel of 2nd share is identical to 1st share, the overlaid pixel will be half
black and half white. Such overlayed pixel is called grey or empty. If the pixels of 1st
and 2nd share are inverted or opposite, the overlayed version will be completely black.
This is called an information pixel, where the content of the message could be seen
In the usage of visual cryptography, the sender will distribute one or more
random of first share to the receiver. Then, he will send the second share for a particular
first share to the receiver. The receiver overlaid both of shares and the secret information
is knowable. It is just need by looking at the share that is overlaid each other. No need a
computer or performing a complex calculations. This is an unbreakable system because
if one of the shares is lost, then the message inside couldn’t be retrieve. As long as both
of shares is not exist in the wrong hand, it still an unbreakable system.

Fig.1. N-Share of Visual Cryptography

For clearly understanding, there are two applications which are almost the same
that have been found through the Internet.

Through the website [,

accessed by March 10, 2010], to encrypt the message by enter random keystroke in the
passphrase form to make a different plaintext pixel display, insert the message, choose
how big pixel that to be wanted, and click the make images button. Three windows will
open after click the images button. They are ciphertext, stream, and plaintext.
Fig.2. Visual Cryptography 1st Application

Fig.2.a. Ciphertext

Fig.2.b. Stream

Fig.2.c. Plaintext

Another application is created by Formale Sprachen (FS), Eberhard Karls

Universität Tübingen. In this application, there is no insert passphrase. So, the display of
pixel on plaintext is the same for every message that is inserted. Here, just enter the
message, wait for a moment until the loading process is finished. Then, click on the
second share, bring it move to the first one and the plaintext would be generated.
Fig.3. Insert the message

Fig.3.a. After move the second share to the first share

3.2 Quantum Cryptography

As explained before quantum cryptography is applied on key-exchange

algorithm (Quantum Key Distribution - QKD). It applies only to produce and distribute
a key secret. Not to transmit any message data. This key can be used in encryption and
decryption of message process.
The application to form secure QKD that popular is the Bennett and Brassard
protocol ( BB84 ) that published on 1984. There are two set polarization filter is needed
inside. They are rectilinear basis set (which is included vertical and horizontal filter) and
diagonal basis (filter that is rotated as big as 45 degree). It used by alice as a sender to
generate a onetime pad function in transmit the secret key. Together with the onetime
pad that she has been generated, she sends it to bob as a receiver through the photon
media. At the bob side, receive the random bit. Then he asked to alice which one from
the random bit that he has received is used by alice. The eavesdropper can be existed in
this process. Some of the random bit can be achieved by the eavesdropper, the others is
Fig.4. Quantum Cryptography

4. Latest Works

In visual cryptography, there is a term which is visual cryptography scheme

(VCS) that popular to be developed. It is a kind of secret sharing scheme which allows
the encryption of a secret image into n shares that will distribute to n participants. The
development of visual cryptography scheme is more advance, since visual cryptography
is a new cryptographic technique.
The basic visual cryptography is based on breaking the pixels into some
subpixels (expansion of pixels). Started from the basic things, now the advance of visual
cryptography has become developed. Such as color visual cryptography schemes. In the
paper, proposed a color VCS with no expansion and with expansion pixels. By the end
of the paper, the comparisons of the proposed cryptography to the existing cryptography
which is black and white with expansion pixels under the visual cryptography model of
Tuyls is generated. [color visual cryptographic scheme]. This is a development from
Naor and Shamir visual cryptography.
Besides that, the development of VCS in another form like in halftoning image
processes. Where, halftoning is a process of converting a gray scale image into a binary
image. In the paper, the security of share is more needed. So, data hiding in halftone
images using conjugate ordered dithering (DHCOD) algorithm is explained through this
paper. [Jena, A Novel Visual Cryptography Scheme]. It is kind of modified version
from the previous research on data hiding in halftone images using conjugate error
diffusion technique (DHCED). To make it secure, the generating of watermarked share
through DHCOD algorithm has been described.

Quantum Cryptography

The development of quantum cryptography is growing today. One of these

developments is quantum cryptography in the Internet environment. Where the Internet
is a very important tool used today to connect with others. Therefore, some research on
the field of communication networks started to secure the communication between each
other. They are developing in the field of wireless communication network and SSL /
TLS handshake protocol.
In the paper quantum cryptography for wireless network communications in
2009, the advantage of quantum cryptography in the form of key exchange through the
photon media which is called secured unconditional become one of the reasons for
developing such quantum cryptography. This approach is merged with the IEEE 802.11i
wireless network. It can serve better to provide secure data communications for small
networks such as IEEE 802.11i.
As almost the same reason which is unconditional secured like in the quantum
cryptography for wireless network communication, this approach is used in data
transmission within SSL / TLS handshake protocol. Before that, it is based on the public
key encryption. Now it develops to make the protocol more secure than just only use the
computation calculation.

5. Conclusion

Visual and quantum cryptography are new cryptography approach in securing

the message. Advantages and disadvantages in the basic cryptography algorithm have
been found. So the development to the new study is kept on going to overcome the
weaknesses that exist in the current algorithm.

6. References

Bennett H.Charles and Brassard Gilles, Quantum Cryptography : Public Key Distribution and
Coin Tossing, ICC, India 1984, pp1–5.

M.Naor and A. Shamir “Visual cryptography”. Advances in Cryptology EUROCRYPT

’94. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, (950):1–12, 1995.

Xu Huang, Shirantha Wijesekera, and Dharmendra Sharma, “Quantum Cryptography for

Wireless Network Communications,” IEEE, 2009.

[SSL/TLS with Quantum Cryptography]