Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2015/806

Fault Space Transformation: A Generic Approach to Counter Differential Fault Analysis and Differential Fault Intensity Analysis on AES-like Block Ciphers

Sikhar Patranabis and Abhishek Chakraborty and Debdeep Mukhopadhyay and P.P. Chakrabarti

Abstract: Classical fault attacks such as Differential Fault Analysis~(DFA) as well as biased fault attacks such as the Differential Fault Intensity Analysis~(DFIA) have been a major threat to cryptosystems in recent times. DFA uses pairs of fault-free and faulty ciphertexts to recover the secret key. DFIA, on the other hand, combines principles of side channel analysis and fault attacks to try and extract the key using faulty ciphertexts only. Till date, no effective countermeasure that can thwart both DFA as well as DFIA based attacks has been reported in the literature to the best of our knowledge. In particular, traditional redundancy based countermeasures that assume uniform fault distribution are found to be vulnerable against DFIA due to its use of biased fault models. In this work, we propose a novel generic countermeasure strategy that combines the principles of redundancy with that of fault space transformation to achieve security against both DFA and DFIA based attacks on AES-like block ciphers. As a case study, we have applied our proposed technique to to obtain temporal and spatial redundancy based countermeasures for AES-128, and have evaluated their security against both DFA and DFIA via practical experiments on a SASEBO-GII board. Results show that our proposed countermeasure makes it practically infeasible to obtain a single instance of successful fault injection, even in the presence of biased fault models.

Category / Keywords: Security, Block Ciphers, Fault Attacks, Biased Faults, Countermeasure, Redundancy, Fault Space Transformation

Original Publication (in the same form): IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security

Date: received 12 Aug 2015, last revised 6 Jul 2017

Contact author: sikhar patranabis at iitkgp ac in

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20170706:104047 (All versions of this report)

Short URL:

Discussion forum: Show discussion | Start new discussion

[ Cryptology ePrint archive ]