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An Analytical Model for Time-Driven Cache Attacks

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNSC,volume 4593)


Cache attacks exploit side-channel information that is leaked by a microprocessor’s cache. There has been a significant amount of research effort on the subject to analyze and identify cache side-channel vulnerabilities since early 2002. Experimental results support the fact that the effectiveness of a cache attack depends on the particular implementation of the cryptosystem under attack and on the cache architecture of the device this implementation is running on. Yet, the precise effect of the mutual impact between the software implementation and the cache architecture is still an unknown. In this manuscript, we explain the effect and present an analytical model for time-driven cache attacks that accurately forecasts the strength of a symmetric key cryptosystem based on 3 simple parameters: (1) the number of lookup tables; (2) the size of the lookup tables; (3) and the length of the microprocessor’s cache line. The accuracy of the model has been experimentally verified on 3 different platforms with different implementations of the AES algorithm attacked by adversaries with different capabilities.


  • Cache Line
  • Performance Counter
  • Cache Access
  • Cache Architecture
  • Powerful Adversary

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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© 2007 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Tiri, K., Acıiçmez, O., Neve, M., Andersen, F. (2007). An Analytical Model for Time-Driven Cache Attacks. In: Biryukov, A. (eds) Fast Software Encryption. FSE 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4593. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-540-74617-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-540-74619-5

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)