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Cryptography, Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2021) – 4 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Determining the root cause of software errors induced by fault injection attacks is no easy task, as fault manifestation is impacted by the device instruction set, microarchitecture, physical circuit layout, and manufacturing process. Current methods for simulating the effects of fault attacks on embedded software either abstract away the processor details in favor of software level analysis or lose the context of software-level behavior to support more detailed hardware analysis. Our automated fault evaluation framework, SimpliFI, uses a combination of software-centric test case design and low-level hardware fault simulation to provide detailed insight into how a fault propagates through the hardware to cause software-level errors. View this paper
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Article
SimpliFI: Hardware Simulation of Embedded Software Fault Attacks
Cryptography 2021, 5(2), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cryptography5020015 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 894
Abstract
Fault injection simulation on embedded software is typically captured using a high-level fault model that expresses fault behavior in terms of programmer-observable quantities. These fault models hide the true sensitivity of the underlying processor hardware to fault injection, and they are unable to [...] Read more.
Fault injection simulation on embedded software is typically captured using a high-level fault model that expresses fault behavior in terms of programmer-observable quantities. These fault models hide the true sensitivity of the underlying processor hardware to fault injection, and they are unable to correctly capture fault effects in the programmer-invisible part of the processor microarchitecture. We present SimpliFI, a simulation methodology to test fault attacks on embedded software using a hardware simulation of the processor running the software. We explain the purpose and advantage of SimpliFI, describe automation of the simulation framework, and apply SimpliFI on a BRISC-V embedded processor running an AES application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Hardware Security)
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Article
Associative Blockchain for Decentralized PKI Transparency
Cryptography 2021, 5(2), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cryptography5020014 - 28 May 2021
Viewed by 922
Abstract
The conventional public key infrastructure (PKI) model, which powers most of the Internet, suffers from an excess of trust into certificate authorities (CAs), compounded by a lack of transparency which makes it vulnerable to hard-to-detect targeted stealth impersonation attacks. Existing approaches to make [...] Read more.
The conventional public key infrastructure (PKI) model, which powers most of the Internet, suffers from an excess of trust into certificate authorities (CAs), compounded by a lack of transparency which makes it vulnerable to hard-to-detect targeted stealth impersonation attacks. Existing approaches to make certificate issuance more transparent, including ones based on blockchains, are still somewhat centralized. We present decentralized PKI transparency (DPKIT): a decentralized client-based approach to enforcing transparency in certificate issuance and revocation while eliminating single points of failure. DPKIT efficiently leverages an existing blockchain to realize an append-only, distributed associative array, which allows anyone (or their browser) to audit and update the history of all publicly issued certificates and revocations for any domain. Our technical contributions include definitions for append-only associative ledgers, a security model for certificate transparency, and a formal analysis of our DPKIT construction with respect to the same. Intended as a client-side browser extension, DPKIT will be effective at fraud detection and prosecution, even under fledgling user adoption, and with better coverage and privacy than federated observatories, such as Google’s or the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s. Full article
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Article
CONFISCA: An SIMD-Based Concurrent FI and SCA Countermeasure with Switchable Performance and Security Modes
Cryptography 2021, 5(2), 13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cryptography5020013 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 700
Abstract
CONFISCA is the first generic SIMD-based software countermeasure that can concurrently resist against Side-Channel Attack (SCA) and Fault Injection (FI). Its promising strength is presented in a PRESENT cipher case study and compared to software-based Dual-rail with Pre-charge Logic concurrent countermeasure. It has [...] Read more.
CONFISCA is the first generic SIMD-based software countermeasure that can concurrently resist against Side-Channel Attack (SCA) and Fault Injection (FI). Its promising strength is presented in a PRESENT cipher case study and compared to software-based Dual-rail with Pre-charge Logic concurrent countermeasure. It has lower overhead, wider usability, and higher protection. Its protection has been compared using Correlation Power Analysis, Welch’s T-Test, Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Normalized Inter-Class Variance testing methods. CONFISCA can on-the-fly switch between its two modes of operation: The High-Performance and High-Security by having only one instance of the cipher. This gives us the flexibility to trade performance/energy with security, based on the actual critical needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Hardware Security)
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Article
Grid Cyber-Security Strategy in an Attacker-Defender Model
Cryptography 2021, 5(2), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cryptography5020012 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 972
Abstract
The progression of cyber-attacks on the cyber-physical system is analyzed by the Probabilistic, Learning Attacker, and Dynamic Defender (PLADD) model. Although our research does apply to all cyber-physical systems, we focus on power grid infrastructure. The PLADD model evaluates the effectiveness of moving [...] Read more.
The progression of cyber-attacks on the cyber-physical system is analyzed by the Probabilistic, Learning Attacker, and Dynamic Defender (PLADD) model. Although our research does apply to all cyber-physical systems, we focus on power grid infrastructure. The PLADD model evaluates the effectiveness of moving target defense (MTD) techniques. We consider the power grid attack scenarios in the AND configurations and OR configurations. In addition, we consider, for the first time ever, power grid attack scenarios involving both AND configurations and OR configurations simultaneously. Cyber-security managers can use the strategy introduced in this manuscript to optimize their defense strategies. Specifically, our research provides insight into when to reset access controls (such as passwords, internet protocol addresses, and session keys), to minimize the probability of a successful attack. Our mathematical proof for the OR configuration of multiple PLADD games shows that it is best if all access controls are reset simultaneously. For the AND configuration, our mathematical proof shows that it is best (in terms of minimizing the attacker′s average probability of success) that the resets are equally spaced apart. We introduce a novel concept called hierarchical parallel PLADD system to cover additional attack scenarios that require combinations of AND and OR configurations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Hardware Security)
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