Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2014/682

A Unified Formalism for Physical Attacks

Hélène Le Bouder, Ronan Lashermes , Yanis Linge , Bruno Robisson and Assia Tria

Abstract: The security of cryptographic algorithms can be considered in two contexts. On the one hand, these algorithms can be proven secure mathematically. On the other hand, physical attacks can weaken the implementation of an algorithm yet proven secure. Under the common name of physical attacks, different attacks are regrouped: side channel attacks and fault injection attacks. This paper presents a common formalism for these attacks and highlights their underlying principles. All physical attacks on symmetric algorithms can be described with a 3-step process. Moreover it is possible to compare different physical attacks, by separating the theoretical attack path and the experimental parts of the attacks.

Category / Keywords: Formalism, physical attacks, side channels, fault injections

Date: received 1 Sep 2014, last revised 3 Sep 2014

Contact author: le bouder helene at orange fr

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Version: 20140903:150710 (All versions of this report)

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