International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Pantea Kiaei


SoC Root Canal! Root Cause Analysis of Power Side-Channel Leakage in System-on-Chip Designs
Pantea Kiaei Patrick Schaumont
Finding the root cause of power-based side-channel leakage becomes harder when multiple layers of design abstraction are involved. While side-channel leakage originates in processor hardware, the dangerous consequences may only become apparent in the cryptographic software that runs on the processor. This contribution presents RootCanal, a methodology to explain the origin of side-channel leakage in a software program in terms of the underlying micro-architecture and system architecture. We simulate the hardware power consumption at the gate level and perform a non-specific test to identify the logic gates that contribute most sidechannel leakage. Then, we back-annotate those findings to the related activities in the software. The resulting analysis can automatically point out non-trivial causes of side-channel leakages. To illustrate RootCanal’s capabilities, we discuss a collection of case studies.


Pantea Kiaei (1)
Patrick Schaumont (1)