Algebraic Side-Channel Attacks

  • Mathieu Renauld
  • François-Xavier Standaert
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-16342-5_29

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6151)
Cite this paper as:
Renauld M., Standaert FX. (2010) Algebraic Side-Channel Attacks. In: Bao F., Yung M., Lin D., Jing J. (eds) Information Security and Cryptology. Inscrypt 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 6151. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

Abstract

In 2002, algebraic attacks using overdefined systems of equations have been proposed as a potentially very powerful cryptanalysis technique against block ciphers. However, although a number of convincing experiments have been performed against certain reduced algorithms, it is not clear whether these attacks can be successfully applied in general and to a large class of ciphers. In this paper, we show that algebraic techniques can be combined with side-channel attacks in a very effective and natural fashion. As an illustration, we apply them to the block cipher PRESENT that is a stimulating first target, due to its simple algebraic structure. The proposed attacks have a number of interesting features: (1) they exploit the information leakages of all the cipher rounds, (2) in common implementation contexts (e.g. assuming a Hamming weight leakage model), they recover the block cipher keys after the observation of a single encryption, (3) these attacks can succeed in an unknown-plaintext/ciphertext adversarial scenario and (4) they directly defeat countermeasures such as boolean masking. Eventually, we argue that algebraic side-channel attacks can take advantage of any kind of physical leakage, leading to a new tradeoff between the robustness and informativeness of the side-channel information extraction.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathieu Renauld
    • 1
  • François-Xavier Standaert
    • 1
  1. 1.UCL Crypto GroupUniversité catholique de LouvainBelgium

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