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Hardware level countermeasures against differential power analysis

Hardware level countermeasures against differential power analysis
Hardware level countermeasures against differential power analysis
Hardware implementations of mathematically secure algorithms unintentionally leak side channel information, that can be used to attack the device. Such attacks, known as side channel attacks, are becoming an increasingly important aspect of designing security systems. In this thesis, power analysis attacks are discussed along with existing countermeasures. In the first part of the thesis, the theory and practice of side-channel attacks is introduced. In particular, it is shown that plain implementations of block ciphers are highly susceptible to power-analysis attacks.

Dual rail precharge (DRP) circuits have already been proposed as an effective countermeasure against power analysis attacks. DRP circuits suffer from an implementation problem; balancing the routing capacitance of differential signals. In this thesis we propose a new countermeasure, path switching, to address the routing problem in DRP circuits which has very low overheads compared to existing methods. The proposed countermeasure is tested with simulations and experimentally on an FPGA board. Results from these tests show a minimum of 75 times increase in the power traces required for a first order DPA attack.

Some of the existing countermeasures to address the routing problem in DRP circuits do not consider coupling capacitance between differential signals. In this thesis we propose a new method, divided backend duplication that effectively addresses balanced the routing problem of DRP circuits. The proposed countermeasure is tested with simulations and results show a minimum of 300 times increase in the power traces required for a first order DPA attack.

Randomisation as a DPA countermeasure is also explored. It is found that randomising the power consumption of the cryptographic device itself has little impact on DPA. Randomising the occurrence of intermediate results, on which DPA relies on, has better effect at mitigating DPA.
Baddam, Karthik
30300453-26fc-4329-9a50-00acd0806585
Baddam, Karthik
30300453-26fc-4329-9a50-00acd0806585
Zwolinski, Mark
adfcb8e7-877f-4bd7-9b55-7553b6cb3ea0

Baddam, Karthik (2012) Hardware level countermeasures against differential power analysis. University of Southampton, School of Electronics and Computer Science, Doctoral Thesis, 387pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Hardware implementations of mathematically secure algorithms unintentionally leak side channel information, that can be used to attack the device. Such attacks, known as side channel attacks, are becoming an increasingly important aspect of designing security systems. In this thesis, power analysis attacks are discussed along with existing countermeasures. In the first part of the thesis, the theory and practice of side-channel attacks is introduced. In particular, it is shown that plain implementations of block ciphers are highly susceptible to power-analysis attacks.

Dual rail precharge (DRP) circuits have already been proposed as an effective countermeasure against power analysis attacks. DRP circuits suffer from an implementation problem; balancing the routing capacitance of differential signals. In this thesis we propose a new countermeasure, path switching, to address the routing problem in DRP circuits which has very low overheads compared to existing methods. The proposed countermeasure is tested with simulations and experimentally on an FPGA board. Results from these tests show a minimum of 75 times increase in the power traces required for a first order DPA attack.

Some of the existing countermeasures to address the routing problem in DRP circuits do not consider coupling capacitance between differential signals. In this thesis we propose a new method, divided backend duplication that effectively addresses balanced the routing problem of DRP circuits. The proposed countermeasure is tested with simulations and results show a minimum of 300 times increase in the power traces required for a first order DPA attack.

Randomisation as a DPA countermeasure is also explored. It is found that randomising the power consumption of the cryptographic device itself has little impact on DPA. Randomising the occurrence of intermediate results, on which DPA relies on, has better effect at mitigating DPA.

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More information

Published date: February 2012
Organisations: University of Southampton, EEE

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 300786
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/300786
PURE UUID: 787a15b9-fe72-4c56-a0fa-b9164bd0302e
ORCID for Mark Zwolinski: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2230-625X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Mar 2012 10:27
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:14

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