International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Niels Samwel


SoK: SCA-secure ECC in software – mission impossible?
This paper describes an ECC implementation computing the X25519 keyexchange protocol on the Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller. For providing protections against various side-channel and fault attacks we first review known attacks and countermeasures, then we provide software implementations that come with extensive mitigations, and finally we present a preliminary side-channel evaluation. To our best knowledge, this is the first public software claiming affordable protection against multiple classes of attacks that are motivated by distinct real-world application scenarios. We distinguish between X25519 with ephemeral keys and X25519 with static keys and show that the overhead to our baseline unprotected implementation is about 37% and 243%, respectively. While this might seem to be a high price to pay for security, we also show that even our (most protected) static implementation is at least as efficient as widely-deployed ECC cryptographic libraries, which offer much less protection.
Friet: an Authenticated Encryption Scheme with Built-in Fault Detection 📺
In this work we present a duplex-based authenticated encryption scheme Friet based on a new permutation called Friet-P. We designed Friet-P with a novel approach for cryptographic permutations and block ciphers that takes fault-attack resistance into account and that we introduce in this paper. In this method, we build a permutation f_C to be embedded in a larger one f. First, we define f as a sequence of steps that all abide a chosen error-correcting code C, i.e., that map C-codewords to C-codewords. Then, we embed f_C in f by first encoding its input to an element of C, applying f and then decoding back from C. This last step detects a fault when the output of f is not in C. We motivate the design of the permutation we use in Friet and report on performance in soft- and hardware. We evaluate the fault-detection capabilities of the software and simulated hardware implementations with attacks. Finally, we perform a leakage evaluation. Our code is available at