Paper 2008/005

Information Theoretic Evaluation of Side-Channel Resistant Logic Styles

Francois Mace, Francois-Xavier Standaert, and Jean-Jacques Quisquater


We propose to apply an information theoretic metric to the evaluation of side-channel resistant logic styles. Due to the long design and development time required for the physical evaluation of such hardware countermeasures, our analysis is based on simulations. Although they do not aim to replace the need of actual measurements, we show that simulations can be used as a meaningful first step in the validation chain of a cryptographic product. For illustration purposes, we apply our methodology to gate-level simulations of different logic styles and stress that it allows a significant improvement of the previously considered evaluation methods. In particular, our results allow putting forward the respective strengths and weaknesses of actual countermeasures and determining to which extent they can practically lead to secure implementations (with respect to a noise parameter), if adversaries were provided with simulation-based side-channel traces. Most importantly, the proposed methodology can be straightforwardly adapted to adversaries provided with any other kind of leakage traces (including physical ones).

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Published elsewhere. The paper was published in the proceedings of CHES 2007. This ePrint version contains corrected notations in order to comply with the updated notations of the model in:
side-channel attackshardware countermeasures
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fstandae @ uclouvain be
2008-02-08: revised
2008-01-03: received
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      author = {Francois Mace and Francois-Xavier Standaert and Jean-Jacques Quisquater},
      title = {Information Theoretic Evaluation of Side-Channel Resistant Logic Styles},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2008/005},
      year = {2008},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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