eprint.iacr.org will be offline for approximately an hour for routine maintenance at 11pm UTC on Tuesday, April 16. We lost some data between April 12 and April 14, and some authors have been notified that they need to resubmit their papers.

Paper 2017/1051

A Novel Use of Kernel Discriminant Analysis as a Higher-Order Side-Channel Distinguisher

Xinping Zhou, Carolyn Whitnall, Elisabeth Oswald, Degang Sun, and Zhu Wang


Distinguishers play an important role in Side Channel Analysis (SCA), where real world leakage information is compared against hypothetical predictions in order to guess at the underlying secret key. However, the direct relationship between leakages and predictions can be disrupted by the mathematical combining of $d$ random values with each sensitive intermediate value of the cryptographic algorithm (a so-called ``$d$-th order masking scheme''). In the case of software implementations, as long as the masking has been correctly applied, the guessable intermediates will be independent of any one point in the trace, or indeed of any tuple of fewer than $d+1$ points. However, certain $d+1$-tuples of time points may jointly depend on the guessable intermediates. A typical approach to exploiting this data dependency is to pre-process the trace -- computing carefully chosen univariate functions of all possible $d+1$-tuples -- before applying the usual univariate distinguishers. This has a computational complexity which is exponential in the order $d$ of the masking scheme. In this paper, we propose a new distinguisher based on Kernel Discriminant Analysis (KDA) which directly exploits properties of the mask implementation without the need to exhaustively pre-process the traces, thereby distinguishing the correct key with lower complexity.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. 17th Smart Card Research and Advanced Application Conference (CARDIS 2017)
Contact author(s)
zhouxinping @ iie ac cn
2017-10-31: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Xinping Zhou and Carolyn Whitnall and Elisabeth Oswald and Degang Sun and Zhu Wang},
      title = {A Novel Use of Kernel Discriminant Analysis as a Higher-Order Side-Channel Distinguisher},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2017/1051},
      year = {2017},
      note = {\url{https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/1051}},
      url = {https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/1051}
Note: In order to protect the privacy of readers, eprint.iacr.org does not use cookies or embedded third party content.