[Resource Topic] 2023/335: Separating Oil and Vinegar with a Single Trace

Welcome to the resource topic for 2023/335

Separating Oil and Vinegar with a Single Trace

Authors: Thomas Aulbach, Fabio Campos, Juliane Krämer, Simona Samardjiska, Marc Stöttinger


Due to recent cryptanalytical breakthroughs, the multivariate signature schemes that seemed to be most promising in the past years are no longer in the focus of the research community. Hence, the cryptographically mature UOV scheme is of great interest again. Since it has not been part of the NIST process for standardizing post-quantum cryptography so far, it has not been studied intensively for its physical security.

In this work, we present a side-channel attack on the latest implementation of UOV. In the first part of the attack, a single side-channel trace of the signing process is used to learn all vinegar variables used in the computation. Then, we employ the reconciliation attack to reveal the complete secret key. Our attack, unlike previous work, targets the inversion of the central map and not the subsequent linear transformation. It further does not require the attacker to control the message to be signed.

We have verified the practicality of our attack on a ChipWhisperer-Lite board with a 32-bit STM32F3 ARM Cortex-M4 target mounted on a CW308 UFO board. We publicly provide the code and both reference and target traces. Additionally, we discuss several countermeasures that can at least make our attack less efficient.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/335

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