International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Prasanna Ravi

Affiliation: Temasek Laboratories, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; School of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Generic Side-channel attacks on CCA-secure lattice-based PKE and KEMs 📺
In this work, we demonstrate generic and practical EM side-channel assisted chosen ciphertext attacks over multiple LWE/LWR-based Public Key Encryption (PKE) and Key Encapsulation Mechanisms (KEM) secure in the chosen ciphertext model (IND-CCA security). We show that the EM side-channel information can be efficiently utilized to instantiate a plaintext checking oracle, which provides binary information about the output of decryption, typically concealed within IND-CCA secure PKE/KEMs, thereby enabling our attacks. Firstly, we identified EM-based side-channel vulnerabilities in the error correcting codes (ECC) enabling us to distinguish based on the value/validity of decrypted codewords. We also identified similar vulnerabilities in the Fujisaki-Okamoto transform which leaks information about decrypted messages applicable to schemes that do not use ECC. We subsequently exploit these vulnerabilities to demonstrate practical attacks applicable to six CCA-secure lattice-based PKE/KEMs competing in the second round of the NIST standardization process. We perform experimental validation of our attacks on implementations taken from the open-source pqm4 library, running on the ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller. Our attacks lead to complete key-recovery in a matter of minutes on all the targeted schemes, thus showing the effectiveness of our attack.