Fault Attacks on Nonce-Based Authenticated Encryption: Application to Keyak and Ketje

  • Christoph Dobraunig
  • Stefan Mangard
  • Florian Mendel
  • Robert PrimasEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11349)


In the context of fault attacks on nonce-based authenticated encryption, an attacker faces two restrictions. The first is the uniqueness of the nonce for each new encryption that prevents the attacker from collecting pairs of correct and faulty outputs to perform, e.g., differential fault attacks. The second restriction concerns the verification/decryption, which releases only verified plaintext. While many recent works either exploit misuse scenarios (e.g. nonce-reuse, release of unverified plaintext), we turn the fact that the decryption/verification gives us information on the effect of a fault (whether a fault changed a value or not) against it.

In particular, we extend the idea of statistical ineffective fault attacks (SIFA) to target the initialization performed in nonce-based authenticated encryption schemes. By targeting the initialization performed during decryption/verification, most nonce-based authenticated encryption schemes provide the attacker with an oracle whether a fault was ineffective or not. This information is all the attacker needs to mount statistical ineffective fault attacks. To demonstrate the practical threat of the attack, we target software implementations of the authenticated encryption schemes Keyak and Ketje. The presented fault attacks can be carried out without the need of sophisticated equipment. In our practical evaluation the inputs corresponding to 24 ineffective fault inductions were required to reveal large parts of the secret key in both scenarios.


Fault attack Statistical ineffective fault attack SIFA Authenticated encryption Keyak Ketje 



This project has received funding in part from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 681402) and by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) via the project ESPRESSO, which is funded by the province of Styria and the Business Promotion Agencies of Styria and Carinthia.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Dobraunig
    • 1
  • Stefan Mangard
    • 1
  • Florian Mendel
    • 2
  • Robert Primas
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Graz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  2. 2.Infineon Technologies AGNeubibergGermany

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