[Resource Topic] 2021/905: A Tale of Two Boards: On the Influence of Microarchitecture on Side-Channel Leakage

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A Tale of Two Boards: On the Influence of Microarchitecture on Side-Channel Leakage

Authors: Vipul Arora, Ileana Buhan, Guilherme Perin, and Stjepan Picek


Advances in cryptography have enabled the features of confidentiality, security, and integrity on small embedded devices such as IoT devices. While mathematically strong, the platform on which an algorithm is implemented plays a significant role in the security of the final product. Side-channel attacks exploit the variations in the system’s physical characteristics to obtain information about the sensitive data. In our scenario, a software implementation of a cryptographic algorithm is flashed on devices from different manufactures with the same instruction set configured for identical execution. To analyze the influence of the microarchitecture on side-channel leakage, we acquire thirty-two sets of power traces from four physical devices. While we notice minor differences in the leakage behaviour for different physical boards from the same manufacturer, our results confirm that the difference in microarchitecture implementations will leak different side-channel information. We also show that TVLA leakage prediction should be treated with caution as it is sensitive to both false positives and negatives.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2021/905

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