Paper 2010/523

Affine Masking against Higher-Order Side Channel Analysis

Guillaume Fumaroli, Ange Martinelli, Emmanuel Prouff, and Matthieu Rivain


In the last decade, an effort has been made by the research community to find efficient ways to thwart side channel analysis (SCA) against physical implementations of cryptographic algorithms. A common countermeasure for implementations of block ciphers is Boolean masking which randomizes by the bitwise addition of one or several random value(s) to the variables to be protected. However, advanced techniques called higher-order SCA attacks exist that overcome such a countermeasure. These attacks are greatly favored by the very nature of Boolean masking. In this paper, we revisit the affine masking initially introduced by Von Willich in 2001 as an alternative to Boolean masking. We show how to apply it to AES at the cost of a small timing overhead compared to Boolean masking. We then conduct an in-depth analysis pinpointing the leakage reduction implied by affine masking. Our results clearly show that the proposed scheme provides an excellent performance-security trade-off to protect AES against higher-order SCA.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Full version of the paper published in the proceedings of SAC 2010.
Side Channel Analysis (SCA)Masking CountermeasureHigher-Order SCAAES
Contact author(s)
matthieu rivain @ gmail com
2010-10-12: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Guillaume Fumaroli and Ange Martinelli and Emmanuel Prouff and Matthieu Rivain},
      title = {Affine Masking against Higher-Order Side Channel Analysis},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2010/523},
      year = {2010},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
Note: In order to protect the privacy of readers, does not use cookies or embedded third party content.