International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paper: Applications of SAT Solvers to AES key Recovery from Decayed Key Schedule Images

Abdel Alim Kamal
Amr M. Youssef
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Abstract: Cold boot attack is a side channel attack which exploits the data remanence property of random access memory (RAM) to retrieve its contents which remain readable shortly after its power has been removed. Given the nature of the cold boot attack, only a corrupted image of the memory contents will be available to the attacker. In this paper, we investigate the use of an off-the-shelf SAT solver, CryptoMinSat, to improve the key recovery of the AES-128 key schedules from its corresponding decayed memory images. By exploiting the asymmetric decay of the memory images and the redundancy of key material inherent in the AES key schedule, rectifying the faults in the corrupted memory images of the AES-128 key schedule is formulated as a Boolean satisfiability problem which can be solved efficiently for relatively very large decay factors. Our experimental results show that this approach improves upon the previously known results.
  title={Applications of SAT Solvers to AES key Recovery from Decayed Key Schedule Images},
  booktitle={IACR Eprint archive},
  keywords={Cold-boot attacks, decayed memory, SAT solvers},
  note={This work is accepted in the SECURWARE 2010 Conference 14761 received 1 Jun 2010},
  author={Abdel Alim Kamal and Amr M. Youssef},