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Title: Report on a Zero-Knowledge Protocal Tabletop Exercise.

This report summarizes the discussion and conclusions reached during a table top exercise held at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque on September 3, 2014 regarding a recently described approach for nuclear warhead verification based on the cryptographic concept of a zero-knowledge protocol (ZKP) presented in a recent paper authored by Glaser, Barak, and Goldston. A panel of Sandia National Laboratories researchers, whose expertise includes radiation instrumentation design and development, cryptography, and arms control verification implementation, jointly reviewed the paper and identified specific challenges to implementing the approach as well as some opportunities. It was noted that ZKP as used in cryptography is a useful model for the arms control verification problem, but the direct analogy to arms control breaks down quickly. The ZKP methodology for warhead verification fits within the general class of template-based verification techniques, where a reference measurement is used to confirm that a given object is like another object that has already been accepted as a warhead by some other means. This can be a powerful verification approach, but requires independent means to trust the authenticity of the reference warhead - a standard that may be difficult to achieve, which the ZKP authors do not directly address. Despitemore » some technical challenges, the concept of last-minute selection of the pre-loads and equipment could be a valuable component of a verification regime.« less
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States);Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States