International Association for Cryptologic Research

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Paper: An Instruction Set Extension to Support Software-Based Masking

Authors:
Si Gao , Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
Johann Großschädl , Department of Computer Science, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Ben Marshall , Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; PQShield Ltd, Oxford, UK
Dan Page , Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Thinh Pham , Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Francesco Regazzoni , UniversitÃa della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
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DOI: 10.46586/tches.v2021.i4.283-325
URL: https://tches.iacr.org/index.php/TCHES/article/view/9067
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Abstract: In both hardware and software, masking can represent an effective means of hardening an implementation against side-channel attack vectors such as Differential Power Analysis (DPA). Focusing on software, however, the use of masking can present various challenges: specifically, it often 1) requires significant effort to translate any theoretical security properties into practice, and, even then, 2) imposes a significant overhead in terms of efficiency. To address both challenges, this paper explores the use of an Instruction Set Extension (ISE) to support masking in software-based implementations of a range of (symmetric) cryptographic kernels including AES: we design, implement, and evaluate such an ISE, using RISC-V as the base ISA. Our ISE-supported first-order masked implementation of AES, for example, is an order of magnitude more efficient than a software-only alternative with respect to both execution latency and memory footprint; this renders it comparable to an unmasked implementation using the same metrics, but also first-order secure.
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BibTeX
@article{tches-2021-31318,
  title={An Instruction Set Extension to Support Software-Based Masking},
  journal={IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems},
  publisher={Ruhr-Universität Bochum},
  volume={2021, Issue 4},
  pages={283-325},
  url={https://tches.iacr.org/index.php/TCHES/article/view/9067},
  doi={10.46586/tches.v2021.i4.283-325},
  author={Si Gao and Johann Großschädl and Ben Marshall and Dan Page and Thinh Pham and Francesco Regazzoni},
  year=2021
}