Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2013/213

On the Impacts of Mathematical Realization over Practical Security of Leakage Resilient Cryptographic Schemes

Guangjun Fan and Yongbin Zhou and F.-X. Standaert and Dengguo Feng

Abstract: In real world, in order to transform an abstract and generic cryptographic scheme into actual physical implementation, one usually undergoes two processes: mathematical realization at algorithmic level and physical realization at implementation level. In the former process, the abstract and generic cryptographic scheme is transformed into an exact and specific mathematical scheme, while in the latter process the output of mathematical realization is being transformed into a physical cryptographic module runs as a piece of software, or hardware, or combination of both. In black-box model (i.e. leakage-free setting), a cryptographic scheme can be mathematically realized without affecting its theoretical security as long as the mathematical components meet the required cryptographic properties. However, up to now, no previous work formally show that whether one can mathematically realize a leakage resilient cryptographic scheme in existent ways without affecting its practical security.

Our results give a negative answer to this important question by introducing attacks against several kinds of mathematical realization of a practical leakage resilient cryptographic scheme. Our results show that there may exist a big gap between the theoretical tolerance leakage rate and the practical tolerance leakage rate of the same leakage resilient cryptographic scheme if the mathematical components in the mathematical realization are not provably secure in leakage setting. Therefore, on one hand, we suggest that all (practical) leakage resilient cryptographic schemes should at least come with a kind of mathematical realization. Using this kind of mathematical realization, its practical security can be guaranteed. On the other hand, our results inspire cryptographers to design advanced leakage resilient cryptographic schemes whose practical security is independent of the specific details of its mathematical realization.

Category / Keywords: Physical Attacks, Leakage Resilient Cryptography, Mathematical Realization, Physical Realization.

Date: received 12 Apr 2013, last revised 26 Sep 2014

Contact author: guangjunfan at 163 com

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Version: 20140926:090138 (All versions of this report)

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