Paper 2017/1112

Manifold Learning Towards Masking Implementations: A First Study

Changhai Ou, Degang Sun, Zhu Wang, Xinping Zhou, and Wei Cheng


Linear dimensionality reduction plays a very important role in side channel attacks, but it is helpless when meeting the non-linear leakage of masking implementations. Increasing the order of masking makes the attack complexity grow exponentially, which makes the research of nonlinear dimensionality reduction very meaningful. However, the related work is seldom studied. A kernel function was firstly introduced into Kernel Discriminant Analysis (KDA) in CARDIS 2016 to realize nonlinear dimensionality reduction. This is a milestone for attacking masked implementations. However, KDA is supervised and noise-sensitive. Moreover, several parameters and a specialized kernel function are needed to be set and customized. Different kernel functions, parameters and the training results, have great influence on the attack efficiency. In this paper, the high dimensional non-linear leakage of masking implementation is considered as high dimensional manifold, and manifold learning is firstly introduced into side channel attacks to realize nonlinear dimensionality reduction. Several classical and practical manifold learning solutions such as ISOMAP, Locally Linear Embedding (LLE) and Laplacian Eigenmaps (LE) are given. The experiments are performed on the simulated unprotected, first-order and second-order masking implementations. Compared with supervised KDA, manifold learning schemes introduced here are unsupervised and fewer parameters need to be set. This makes manifold learning based nonlinear dimensionality reduction very simple and efficient for attacking masked implementations.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
machine learningmanifold learningdimensionality reductionISOMAPLLELaplacian Eigenmapsmaskingside channel attack
Contact author(s)
ouchanghai @ iie ac cn
2017-11-20: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Changhai Ou and Degang Sun and Zhu Wang and Xinping Zhou and Wei Cheng},
      title = {Manifold Learning Towards Masking Implementations: A First Study},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2017/1112},
      year = {2017},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
Note: In order to protect the privacy of readers, does not use cookies or embedded third party content.