Paper 2016/1080

Does Coupling Affect the Security of Masked Implementations?

Thomas De Cnudde, Begül Bilgin, Benedikt Gierlichs, Ventzislav Nikov, Svetla Nikova, and Vincent Rijmen


Masking schemes achieve provable security against side-channel analysis by using secret sharing to decorrelate key-dependent intermediate values of the cryptographic algorithm and side-channel information. Masking schemes make assumptions on how the underlying leakage mechanisms of hardware or software behave to account for various physical effects. In this paper, we investigate the effect of the physical placement on the security using leakage assessment on power measurements collected from an FPGA. In order to differentiate other masking failures, we use threshold implementations as masking scheme in conjunction with a high-entropy pseudorandom number generator. We show that we can observe differences in---possibly---exploitable leakage by placing functions corresponding to different shares of a cryptographic implementation in close proximity.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
MaskingThreshold ImplementationsCrosstalkNon-independent leakageLeakage detectionTVLA
Contact author(s)
thomas decnudde @ esat kuleuven be
2016-11-21: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Thomas De Cnudde and Begül Bilgin and Benedikt Gierlichs and Ventzislav Nikov and Svetla Nikova and Vincent Rijmen},
      title = {Does Coupling Affect the Security of Masked Implementations?},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2016/1080},
      year = {2016},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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