Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2014/028

Channel Equalization for Side Channel Attacks

Colin O'Flynn and Zhizhang (David) Chen

Abstract: This paper introduces the use of channel equalization as a method of simplifying side channel analysis attacks, by eeffectively collapsing all points in a power measurement trace into a single random variable. This uses a simple Finite Impulse Response (FIR) linear equalizer, which has been studied extensively in communications systems. In addition the estimation of a channel model is used in developing the Channel Estimation Analysis (CEA), which is a generic attack requiring similar assumptions to the Correlation Power Analysis (CPA) attack. Both channel equalization and the CEA attack are straight-forward to apply to real systems, and Python examples are provided. Results of attacking unprotected AES-128 and protected AES-256RSM on a microcontroller are provided.

Category / Keywords: implementation / side-channel analysis, multivariate, higher order DPA, equalization

Date: received 10 Jan 2014, last revised 23 Nov 2014

Contact author: coflynn at newae com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: Fixes uploaded revision from July/2014 - some fixes still to be incorporated (compared to 20141124:025849 revision, this one only fixes some tiny typos).

Version: 20141124:030526 (All versions of this report)

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