Design and validation of a platform for electromagnetic fault injection
Document typeConference report
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessOpen Access
European Commission's projectCathedral - Post-Snowden Circuits and Design Methods for Security (EC-H2020-695305)
Security is acknowledged as one of the main challenges in the design and deployment of embedded circuits. Devices need to operate on-the-field safely and correctly, even when at physical reach of potential adversaries. One of the most powerful techniques to compromise the correct functioning of a device are fault injection attacks. They enable an active adversary to trigger errors on a circuit in order to bypass security features or to gain knowledge of security-sensitive information. There are several methods to induce such errors. In this work we focus on the injection of faults through the electromagnetic (EM) channel. In particular, we document our efforts towards building a suitable platform for EM pulse injection. We design a pulse injection circuit that can provide currents over 20 A to an EM injector in order to generate abrupt variations of the EM field on the vicinity of a circuit. We validate the suitability of our platform by applying a well-know attack on an embedded 8-bit microcontroller implementing the AES block cipher. In particular, we show how to extract the AES secret cryptographic keys stored in the device by careful injection of faults during the encryption operations and simple analysis of the erroneous outputs.
CitationBalasch, J., Arumi, D., Manich, S. Design and validation of a platform for electromagnetic fault injection. A: Conference on Design of Circuits and Integrated Systems. "Design of Circuits and Integrated Systems (DCIS), 2017 32nd Conference on". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2018, p. 1-6.