Paper 2014/783

Parametric Trojans for Fault-Injection Attacks on Cryptographic Hardware

Raghavan Kumar, Philipp Jovanovic, Wayne Burleson, and Ilia Polian


We propose two extremely stealthy hardware Trojans that facilitate fault-injection attacks in cryptographic blocks. The Trojans are carefully inserted to modify the electrical characteristics of predetermined transistors in a circuit by altering parameters such as doping concentration and dopant area. These Trojans are activated with very low probability under the presence of a slightly reduced supply voltage (0.001 for 20\% $V_{dd}$ reduction). We demonstrate the effectiveness of the Trojans by utilizing them to inject faults into an ASIC implementation of the recently introduced lightweight cipher %ip PRINCE. Full circuit-level simulation followed by differential cryptanalysis demonstrate that the secret key can be reconstructed after around 5 fault-injections.

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Publication info
Published elsewhere. MINOR revision.Fault Diagnosis and Tolerance in Cryptography 2014
fault-based cryptanalysisfault injectionhardware Trojans
Contact author(s)
jovanovic @ fim uni-passau de
2014-10-06: revised
2014-10-06: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Raghavan Kumar and Philipp Jovanovic and Wayne Burleson and Ilia Polian},
      title = {Parametric Trojans for Fault-Injection Attacks on Cryptographic Hardware},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2014/783},
      year = {2014},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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