[Resource Topic] 2007/222: Towards Security Limits in Side-Channel Attacks

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Towards Security Limits in Side-Channel Attacks

Authors: Francois-Xavier Standaert, Eric Peeters, Cedric Archambeau, Jean-Jacques Quisquater


This paper considers a recently introduced framework for the analysis of physically observable cryptographic devices. It exploits a model of computation that allows quantifying the effect of practically relevant leakage functions with a combination of security and information theoretic metrics. As a result of these metrics, a unified evaluation methodology for side-channel attacks was derived that we illustrate by applying it to an exemplary block cipher implementation. We first consider a Hamming weight leakage function and evaluate the efficiency of two commonly investigated countermeasures, namely noise addition and masking. Then, we show that the proposed methodology allows capturing certain non-trivial intuitions about the respective effectiveness of these countermeasures Finally, we justify the need of combined metrics for the evaluation, comparison and understanding of side-channel attacks.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2007/222

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