Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2013/448

Flush+Reload: a High Resolution, Low Noise, L3 Cache Side-Channel Attack

Yuval Yarom and Katrina Falkner

Abstract: Flush+Reload is a cache side-channel attack that monitors access to data in shared pages. In this paper we demonstrate how to use the attack to extract private encryption keys from GnuPG. The high resolution and low noise of the Flush+Reload attack enables a spy program to recover over 98% of the bits of the private key in a single decryption or signing round. Unlike previous attacks, the attack targets the last level L3 cache. Consequently, the spy program and the victim do not need to share the execution core of the CPU. The attack is not limited to a traditional OS and can be used in a virtualised environment, where it can attack programs executing in a different VM.

Category / Keywords: Side Channel Attack, Cache, RSA, Exponentiation

Date: received 18 Jul 2013

Contact author: yval at cs adelaide edu au

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Version: 20130722:123058 (All versions of this report)

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