Séminaire sécurité des systèmes électroniques embarqués

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Annelie Heuser

Towards understanding, modelling, and automating in side-channel analysis for cryptography and beyond

Any device that contains a secret such as a cryptographic key can be targeted by an adversary. Side-channel attacks aim at breaking cryptographic secrets by exploiting physical information while the device is processing sensitive data. For example, an adversary could monitor the running time, the cache behavior, the power consumption, and/or the electromagnetic radiation of the device. This unintentionally emitted information is then used with a side-channel distinguisher to reveal the secret. In this talk we will discuss several open problems which we believe are not well understood and/or modelled when attacking through side-channels using power consumption or electromagnetic radiation. In particular, we show that the specific targeted operation within a cryptographic implementation (e.g., a substitution box in a block cipher) has an impact on the success rate. Moreover, we highlight how the process of finding side-channel vulnerabilities in a given implementation could be automated such that it is accessible also to non-experts in the field. Finally, we motivate that side-channel information can be helpful beyond its typical application of cryptographic applications.