Cryptographic implementations need to be robust amidst the widespread use of crypto-libraries and attacks targeting their implementation, such as side-channel attacks (SCA). Many certification schemes, such as Common Criteria and FIPS 140, continue without addressing side-channel flaws. Research works mostly tackle sophisticated attacks with simple use-cases, which is not the reality where end-to-end evaluation is not trivial. In this study we used all due diligence to assess the invulnerability of a given implementation from the shoes of an evaluator. In this work we underline that there are two kinds of SCA: horizontal and vertical. In terms of quotation, measurement and exploitation, horizontal SCA is easier. If traces are constant-time, then vertical attacks become convenient, since there is no need for specific alignment (“value based analysis”). We introduce our new methodology: Vary the key to select sensitive samples, where the values depend upon the key, and subsequently vary the mask to uncover unmasked key-dependent leakage, i.e., the flaws. This can be done in the source code (pre-silicon) for the designer or on the actual traces (post-silicon) for the test-lab. We also propose a methodology for quotations regarding SCA unlike standards that focus on only one aspect (like number of traces) and forgets about other aspects (such as equipment; cf. ISO/IEC 20085-1.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited