Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2012/552

Provably Secure Concurrent Error Detection Against Differential Fault Analysis

Xiaofei Guo, Debdeep Mukhopadhyay and Ramesh Karri

Abstract: Differential fault analysis (DFA) poses a significant threat to Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). It has been demonstrated that DFA can use only a single faulty ciphertext to reveal the secret key of AES in an average of 230 computation. Traditionally, concurrent error detection (CED) is used to protect AES against DFA. However, we emphasize that conventional CED assumes a uniform distribution of faults, which is not a valid assumption in the context of DFA. In contrast, we show practical examples which highlight that an attacker can inject specific and exploitable faults, thus threatening existing CED. This paper brings to the surface a new CED approach for cryptography, aimed at providing provable security by detecting all possible DFA-exploitable faults, which is a small subset of the entire fault space. We analyze the fault coverage of conventional CED against DFA-exploitable faults, and we find that the fault coverage of most of these techniques are significantly lower than the one they claimed. We stress that for security, it is imperative that CED should provide 100% fault coverage for DFA-exploitable faults. We further propose an invariance-based CED which provides 100% provable security against all known DFA of AES.

Category / Keywords: secret-key cryptography / Differential fault analysis

Publication Info: Under IEEE journal review

Date: received 21 Sep 2012, last revised 27 Feb 2014

Contact author: xguo02 at students poly edu

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Version: 20140227:200111 (All versions of this report)

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