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Consistent, Efficient and Leakage-Model Free Mutual Information Estimation
Authors: Arnab Roy, Aakash Chowdhury, Elisabeth OswaldAbstract:
The mutual information between the observable device leakage and the unknown key is a key metric in the context of side channel attacks, evaluations, and countermeasures. Estimating this mutual information has been a problem and was addressed in several recent contributions. We explain why previous work has ended up in a "catch-22’’ and we show how to avoid this situation by using a leakage model free estimation approach based on a recently discovered, consistent mutual information estimator. Our work demonstrates that mutual information estimation in the side channel setting can be done extremely efficiently (even in a multivariate setting), with strong mathematical guarantees, without the need for an explicit device leakage model, discretisation, or assumptions about the nature of the device leakage.
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