Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2016/230

ECDSA Key Extraction from Mobile Devices via Nonintrusive Physical Side Channels

Daniel Genkin and Lev Pachmanov and Itamar Pipman and Eran Tromer and Yuval Yarom

Abstract: We show that elliptic-curve cryptography implementations on mobile devices are vulnerable to electromagnetic and power side-channel attacks. We demonstrate full extraction of ECDSA secret signing keys from OpenSSL and CoreBitcoin running on iOS devices, and partial key leakage from OpenSSL running on Android and from iOS's CommonCrypto. These non-intrusive attacks use a simple magnetic probe placed in proximity to the device, or a power probe on the phone's USB cable. They use a bandwidth of merely a few hundred kHz, and can be performed cheaply using an audio card and an improvised magnetic probe.

Category / Keywords: implementation / side-channel attack, elliptic curve cryptography, electromagnetic analysis, power analysis

Original Publication (with minor differences): ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) 2016

Date: received 1 Mar 2016, last revised 19 Aug 2016

Contact author: tromer at cs tau ac il

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20160819:190654 (All versions of this report)

Short URL:

Discussion forum: Show discussion | Start new discussion

[ Cryptology ePrint archive ]