Countermeasure implementation and effectiveness analysis for AES resistance against side channel attacks
Document typeMaster thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
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Side Channel Analysis (SCA) is composed of a bunch of techniques employed to extract secret information from hardware operations through statistical analyses of execution data. For instance, the secret key of a crypto-algorithmic implementation could be targeted and its value could be retrieved. The data is obtained by measuring the power consumption or electromagnetic radiation of a device while performing an operation due to the linear relationship between the currents flowing through the circuitry during the execution of chip operations. Side channel is one of the most widely used attack methods in cryptanalysis. In order to avoid such attacks, the algorithmic implementations can be protected from side channel leakage with the use of different countermeasures. These countermeasures can be built on either software or hardware. The objective is to reduce, or even completely eliminate, the leakage of the device related to confidential data. Generally speaking, there are two main approaches to do so. The first aims to reduce the side channel observability, while the second intends to undermine the predictability of the data. This project focuses on designing and implementing different countermeasures that protect cryptographic implementations from side channel attacks, and test and analyze them afterwards. The countermeasures will be implemented in software and then tested though Correlation Power Analysis in a hardware device. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm will be used as a base structure, in order to improve its cryptographic security with the different countermeasures designed. However, the election of AES does not reduce the scope of this project since the implemented countermeasures could be applied to other cryptographic algorithms as well.