A Tamper and Leakage Resilient von Neumann Architecture

  • Sebastian FaustEmail author
  • Pratyay Mukherjee
  • Jesper Buus Nielsen
  • Daniele Venturi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9020)


We present a universal framework for tamper and leakage resilient computation on a random access machine (RAM). The RAM has one CPU that accesses a storage, which we call the disk. The disk is subject to leakage and tampering. So is the bus connecting the CPU to the disk. We assume that the CPU is leakage and tamper-free. For a fixed value of the security parameter, the CPU has constant size. Therefore the code of the program to be executed is stored on the disk, i.e., we consider a von Neumann architecture. The most prominent consequence of this is that the code of the program executed will be subject to tampering.

We construct a compiler for this architecture which transforms any keyed primitive into a RAM program where the key is encoded and stored on the disk along with the program to evaluate the primitive on that key. Our compiler only assumes the existence of a so-called continuous non-malleable code, and it only needs black-box access to such a code. No further (cryptographic) assumptions are needed. This in particular means that given an information theoretic code, the overall construction is information theoretic secure.

Although it is required that the CPU is tamper and leakage proof, its design is independent of the actual primitive being computed and its internal storage is non-persistent, i.e., all secret registers are reset between invocations. Hence, our result can be interpreted as reducing the problem of shielding arbitrary complex computations to protecting a single, simple yet universal component.


Security Parameter Program Counter Secret State Online Phase Real Execution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Cryptologic Research 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Faust
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pratyay Mukherjee
    • 2
  • Jesper Buus Nielsen
    • 2
  • Daniele Venturi
    • 3
  1. 1.Security and Cryptography LaboratoryEPFLLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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