A formula for disaster: a unified approach to elliptic curve special-point-based attacks 📺
The Refined Power Analysis, Zero-Value Point, and Exceptional Procedure attacks introduced side-channel techniques against specific cases of elliptic curve cryptography. The three attacks recover bits of a static ECDH key adaptively, collecting information on whether a certain multiple of the input point was computed. We unify and generalize these attacks in a common framework, and solve the corresponding problem for a broader class of inputs. We also introduce a version of the attack against windowed scalar multiplication methods, recovering the full scalar instead of just a part of it. Finally, we systematically analyze elliptic curve point addition formulas from the Explicit-Formulas Database, classify all non-trivial exceptional points, and find them in new formulas. These results indicate the usefulness of our tooling, which we released publicly, for unrolling formulas and finding special points, and potentially for independent future work.
Minerva: The curse of ECDSA nonces Systematic analysis of lattice attacks on noisy leakage of bit-length of ECDSA nonces 📺 ★
We present our discovery of a group of side-channel vulnerabilities in implementations of the ECDSA signature algorithm in a widely used Atmel AT90SC FIPS 140-2 certified smartcard chip and five cryptographic libraries (libgcrypt, wolfSSL, MatrixSSL, SunEC/OpenJDK/Oracle JDK, Crypto++). Vulnerable implementations leak the bit-length of the scalar used in scalar multiplication via timing. Using leaked bit-length, we mount a lattice attack on a 256-bit curve, after observing enough signing operations. We propose two new methods to recover the full private key requiring just 500 signatures for simulated leakage data, 1200 for real cryptographic library data, and 2100 for smartcard data. The number of signatures needed for a successful attack depends on the chosen method and its parameters as well as on the noise profile, influenced by the type of leakage and used computation platform. We use the set of vulnerabilities reported in this paper, together with the recently published TPM-FAIL vulnerability [MSE+20] as a basis for real-world benchmark datasets to systematically compare our newly proposed methods and all previously published applicable lattice-based key recovery methods. The resulting exhaustive comparison highlights the methods’ sensitivity to its proper parametrization and demonstrates that our methods are more efficient in most cases. For the TPM-FAIL dataset, we decreased the number of required signatures from approximately 40 000 to mere 900.