Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2015/753

Differential Computation Analysis: Hiding your White-Box Designs is Not Enough

Joppe W. Bos and Charles Hubain and Wil Michiels and Philippe Teuwen

Abstract: Although all current scientific white-box approaches of standardized cryptographic primitives are broken, there is still a large number of companies which sell "secure" white-box products. In this paper a new approach to assess the security of white-box implementations is presented which requires neither knowledge about the look-up tables used nor any reverse engineering effort. This differential computation analysis (DCA) attack is the software counterpart of the differential power analysis attack as applied by the cryptographic hardware community.

We developed plugins to widely available dynamic binary instrumentation frameworks to produce software execution traces which contain information about the memory addresses being accessed. We show how DCA can extract the secret key from all publicly (non-commercial) available white-box programs implementing standardized cryptography by analyzing these traces to identify secret-key dependent correlations.

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Original Publication (with major differences): IACR-CHES-2016

Date: received 28 Jul 2015, last revised 8 Jul 2016

Contact author: joppe bos at nxp com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: The entire software toolchain ranging from the plugins, to the GUI, to the individual scrips to target the white-box challenges as described in this paper is released as open-source software: see

Version: 20160708:084242 (All versions of this report)

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