Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2013/320

Instantaneous Frequency Analysis

Roman Korkikian and David Naccache and Guilherme Ozari de Almeida

Abstract: This paper investigated the use of instantaneous frequency (IF) instead of power amplitude and power spectrum in side-channel analysis. By opposition to the constant frequency used in Fourier Transform, instantaneous frequency reflects local phase differences and allows detecting frequency variations. These variations reflect the processed binary data and are hence cryptanalytically useful. IF exploits the fact that after higher power drops more time is required to restore power back to its nominal value. Whilst our experiments reveal IF does not bring specific benefits over usual power attacks when applied to unprotected designs, IF allows to obtain much better results in the presence of amplitude modification countermeasures.

Category / Keywords: implementation / side channel attacks, CPA, DPA, power attacks

Publication Info: To appear in SECRYPT as a NON-peer-reviewed publication never published elsewhere (hence fully compliant with ePrint's policy as currently stated on

Date: received 25 May 2013

Contact author: david naccache at ens fr

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20130602:132616 (All versions of this report)

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