Alejandro Cabrera Aldaya
Affiliation: Universidad Tecnológica de la Habana (CUJAE), Habana
When one vulnerable primitive turns viral: Novel single-trace attacks on ECDSA and RSA
Microarchitecture based side-channel attacks are common threats nowadays. Intel SGX technology provides a strong isolation from an adversarial OS, however, does not guarantee protection against side-channel attacks. In this paper, we analyze the security of the mbedTLS binary GCD algorithm, an implementation that offers interesting challenges when compared for example with OpenSSL, due to the usage of very tight loops in the former. Using practical experiments we demonstrate the mbedTLS binary GCD implementation is vulnerable to side-channel analysis using the SGX-Step framework against mbedTLS based SGX enclaves.We analyze the security of some use cases of this algorithm in this library, resulting in the discovery of a new vulnerability in the ECDSA code path that allows a single-trace attack against this implementation. This vulnerability is three-fold interesting: It resides in the implementation of a countermeasure which makes it more dangerous due to the false state of security the countermeasure currently offers. It reduces mbedTLS ECDSA security to an integer factorization problem. An unexpected GCD call inside the ECDSA code path compromises the countermeasure. We also cover an orthogonal use case, this time inside the mbedTLS RSA code path during the computation of a CRT parameter when loading a private key. The attack also exploits the binary GCD implementation threat, showing how a single vulnerable primitive leads to multiple vulnerabilities. We demonstrate both security threats with end-to-end attacks using 1000 trials each, showing in both cases single-trace attacks can be achieved with success rates very close to 100%.
From A to Z: Projective coordinates leakage in the wild
At EUROCRYPT 2004, Naccache et al. showed that the projective coordinates representation of the resulting point of an elliptic curve scalar multiplication potentially allows to recover some bits of the scalar. However, this attack has received little attention by the scientific community, and the status of deployed mitigations to prevent it in widely adopted cryptography libraries is unknown. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap, by analyzing several cryptography libraries in this context. To demonstrate the applicability of the attack, we use a side-channel attack to exploit this vulnerability within libgcrypt in the context of ECDSA. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first practical attack instance. It targets the insecure binary extended Euclidean algorithm implementation using a microarchitectural side-channel attack that allows recovering the projective representation of the output point of scalar multiplication during ECDSA signature generation. We captured 100k traces to estimate the number of traces an attacker would need to compromise the libgcrypt ECDSA implementation, resulting in less than 2k for commonly used elliptic curve secp256r1, demonstrating the attack feasibility. During exploitation, we found two additional vulnerabilities. However, we remark the purpose of this paper is not merely exploiting a library but about providing an analysis on the projective coordinates vulnerability status in widely deployed open-source libraries, filling a gap between its original description in the academic literature and the adoption of countermeasures to thwart it in real-world applications.
Cache-Timing Attacks on RSA Key Generation 📺
During the last decade, constant-time cryptographic software has quickly transitioned from an academic construct to a concrete security requirement for real-world libraries. Most of OpenSSL’s constant-time code paths are driven by cryptosystem implementations enabling a dedicated flag at runtime. This process is perilous, with several examples emerging in the past few years of the flag either not being set or software defects directly mishandling the flag. In this work, we propose a methodology to analyze security-critical software for side-channel insecure code path traversal. Applying our methodology to OpenSSL, we identify three new code paths during RSA key generation that potentially leak critical algorithm state. Exploiting one of these leaks, we design, implement, and mount a single trace cache-timing attack on the GCD computation step. We overcome several hurdles in the process, including but not limited to: (1) granularity issues due to word-size operands to the GCD function; (2) bulk processing of desynchronized trace data; (3) non-trivial error rate during information extraction; and (4) limited high-confidence information on the modulus factors. Formulating lattice problem instances after obtaining and processing this limited information, our attack achieves roughly a 27% success rate for key recovery using the empirical data from 10K trials.