Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2016/1155

Comparative Study of Various Approximations to the Covariance Matrix in Template Attacks

Mathias Wagner and Yongbo Hu and Chen Zhang and Yeyang Zheng

Abstract: Template attacks have been shown to be among the strongest attacks when it comes to side–channel attacks. An essential ingredient there is to calculate the inverse of a covariance matrix. In this paper we make a comparative study of the effectiveness of some 24 different variants of template attacks based on different approximations of this covariance matrix. As an example, we have chosen a recent smart card where the plain text, cipher text, as well as the key leak strongly. Some of the more commonly chosen approximations to the covariance matrix turn out to be not very effective, whilst others are.

Category / Keywords: implementation / DES, TDES, Template Attack, Side-channel Attack, Smart Card, SCA, block cipher

Date: received 16 Dec 2016

Contact author: mathias wagner at nxp com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20161221:154016 (All versions of this report)

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