Sliding Windows Succumbs to Big Mac Attack

  • C. D. Walter
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/3-540-44709-1_24

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2162)
Cite this paper as:
Walter C.D. (2001) Sliding Windows Succumbs to Big Mac Attack. In: Koç Ç.K., Naccache D., Paar C. (eds) Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems — CHES 2001. CHES 2001. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 2162. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


Sliding Windows is a general technique for obtaining an efficient exponentiation scheme. Big Mac is a specific form of attack on a cryptosystem in which bits of a secret key can be deduced independently, or almost so, of the others. Here such an attack on an implementation of the RSA cryptosystem is described. It assumes digit-by-digit computations are performed sequentially on a single k-bit multiplier and uses information which leaks through differential power analysis (DPA). With sufficiently powerful monitoring equipment, only a small number of exponentiations, independent of the key length, is enough to reveal the secret exponent from unknown plaintext inputs. Since the technique may work for a single exponentiation, many blinding techniques currently under consideration may be rendered useless. This is particularly relevant to implementations with single processors where a digit multiplication cannot be masked by other simultaneous processing. Moreover, the longer the key length, the easier the attacks becomes.


Cryptography RSA differential power analysis blinding DPA smart card exponentiation sliding windows 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. D. Walter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ComputationUMISTManchesterUK

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