Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2005/468

Blind Attacks on Engineering Samples

Vanessa Gratzer and David Naccache

Abstract: In addition to its usual complexity assumptions, cryptography silently assumes that information can be physically protected in a single location. As we now know, real-life devices are not ideal and confidential information leaks through different physical channels.\smallskip

Whilst most aspects of side channel leakage (cryptophthora) are now well understood, no attacks on totally unknown algorithms are known to date. This paper describes such an attack.\smallskip

By {\sl totally unknown} we mean that no information on the algorithm's mathematical description (including the plaintext size), the microprocessor or the chip's power consumption model is available to the attacker.\smallskip

We successfully experimented the attack on a commercially available device produced by a non-European smart-card manufacturer.

Category / Keywords: implementation / side channel attacks, DPA, cryptophthora

Date: received 28 Dec 2005

Contact author: david naccache at ens fr

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Version: 20051231:151538 (All versions of this report)

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