Cache-Timing Attacks Still Threaten IoT Devices

  • Sofiane Takarabt
  • Alexander Schaub
  • Adrien Facon
  • Sylvain GuilleyEmail author
  • Laurent Sauvage
  • Youssef Souissi
  • Yves Mathieu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11445)


Deployed widely and embedding sensitive data, The security of IoT devices depend on the reliability of cryptographic libraries to protect user information. However when implemented on real systems, cryptographic algorithms are vulnerable to side-channel attacks based on their execution behavior, which can be revealed by measurements of physical quantities such as timing or power consumption. Some countermeasures can be implemented in order to prevent those attacks. However those countermeasures are generally designed at high level description, and when implemented, some residual leakage may persist. In this article we propose a methodology to assess the robustness of the MbedTLS library against timing and cache-timing attacks. This comprehensive study of side-channel security allows us to identify the most frequent weaknesses in software cryptographic code and how those might be fixed. This methodology checks the whole source code, from the top level routines to low level primitives, that are used for the final application. We retrieve hundreds of lines of code that leak sensitive information.



The authors are grateful to Matthieu Lec’hvien for having initiated this work (under the guidance of Alexander Schaub). This work has benefited from a funding via TeamPlay (, a project from European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme, under grand agreement No. 779882. Besides, this work has been partly financed by NSFC grant No. 61632020, and French PIA (Projet d’Investissment d’Avenir) grant P141580, of acronym RISQ (Regroupement de l’Industrie pour la Sécurité post-Quantique).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofiane Takarabt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexander Schaub
    • 2
  • Adrien Facon
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sylvain Guilley
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Laurent Sauvage
    • 1
    • 2
  • Youssef Souissi
    • 1
  • Yves Mathieu
    • 2
  1. 1.Secure-IC S.A.S.Cesson-SévignéFrance
  2. 2.LTCI, Télécom ParisTech, Institut Polytechnique de ParisParisFrance
  3. 3.École Normale Supérieure, Département d’informatiqueParisFrance

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