International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Jakob Feldtkeller


Quantitative Fault Injection Analysis
Jakob Feldtkeller Tim Gueneysu Patrick Schaumont
Active fault injection is a credible threat to real-world digital systems computing on sensitive data. Arguing about security in the presence of faults is non-trivial, and state-of-the-art criteria are overly conservative and lack the ability of fine-grained comparison. However, comparing two alternative implementations for their security is required to find a satisfying compromise between security and performance. In addition, the comparison of alternative fault scenarios can help optimize the implementation of effective countermeasures. In this work, we use quantitative information flow analysis to establish a vulnerability metric for hardware circuits under fault injection that measures the severity of an attack in terms of information leakage. Potential use cases range from comparing implementations with respect to their vulnerability to specific fault scenarios to optimizing countermeasures. We automate the computation of our metric by integrating it into a state-of-the-art evaluation tool for physical attacks and provide new insights into the security under an active fault attacker.
Randomness Optimization for Gadget Compositions in Higher-Order Masking
Physical characteristics of electronic devices, leaking secret and sensitive information to an adversary with physical access, pose a long-known threat to cryptographic hardware implementations. Among a variety of proposed countermeasures against such Side-Channel Analysis attacks, masking has emerged as a promising, but often costly, candidate. Furthermore, the manual realization of masked implementations has proven error-prone and often introduces flaws, possibly resulting in insecure circuits. In the context of automatic masking, a new line of research emerged, aiming to replace each physical gate with a secure gadget that fulfills well-defined properties, guaranteeing security when interconnected to a large circuit. Unfortunately, those gadgets introduce a significant amount of additional overhead into the design, in terms of area, latency, and randomness requirements.In this work, we present a novel approach to reduce the demands for randomness in such gadget-composed circuits by reusing randomness across gadgets while maintaining security in the probing adversary model. To this end, we embedded the corresponding optimization passes into an Electronic Design Automation toolchain, able to construct, optimize, and implement masked circuits, starting from an unprotected design. As such, our security-aware optimization offers an additional building block for existing or new Electronic Design Automation frameworks, where security is considered a first-class design constraint.
VERICA - Verification of Combined Attacks: Automated formal verification of security against simultaneous information leakage and tampering
Physical attacks, including passive Side-Channel Analysis and active Fault Injection Analysis, are considered among the most powerful threats against physical cryptographic implementations. These attacks are well known and research provides many specialized countermeasures to protect cryptographic implementations against them. Still, only a limited number of combined countermeasures, i.e., countermeasures that protect implementations against multiple attacks simultaneously, were proposed in the past. Due to increasing complexity and reciprocal effects, design of efficient and reliable combined countermeasures requires longstanding expertise in hardware design and security. With the help of formal security specifications and adversary models, automated verification can streamline development cycles, increase quality, and facilitate development of robust cryptographic implementations.In this work, we revise and refine formal security notions for combined protection mechanisms and specifically embed them in the context of hardware implementations. Based on this, we present the first automated verification framework that can verify physical security properties of hardware circuits with respect to combined physical attacks. To this end, we conduct several case studies to demonstrate the capabilities and advantages of our framework, analyzing secure building blocks (gadgets), S-boxes build from Toffoli gates, and the ParTI scheme. For the first time, we reveal security flaws in analyzed structures due to reciprocal effects, highlighting the importance of continuously integrating security verification into modern design and development cycles.