Paper 2018/1149

Compressive Sensing based Leakage Sampling and Reconstruction: A First Study

Changhai Ou, Chengju Zhou, and Siew-Kei Lam


An important prerequisite for Side-channel Attack (SCA) is leakage sampling where the side-channel measurements (e.g. power traces) of the cryptographic device are collected for further analysis. However, as the operating frequency of cryptographic devices continues to increase due to advancing technology, leakage sampling will impose higher requirements on the sampling equipment. This paper undertakes the first study to show that effective leakage sampling can be achieved without relying on sophisticated equipments through Compressive Sensing (CS). In particular, CS can obtain low-dimensional samples from high-dimensional power traces by simply projecting the useful information onto the observation matrix. The leakage information can then be reconstructed in a workstation for further analysis. With this approach, the sampling rate to obtain the side-channel measurements is no longer limited by the operating frequency of the cryptographic device and Nyquist sampling theorem. Instead it depends on the sparsity of the leakage signal. Our study reveals that there is large amount of information redundancy in power traces obtained from the leaky device. As such, CS can employ a much lower sampling rate and yet obtain equivalent leakage sampling performance, which significantly lowers the requirement of sampling equipments. The feasibility of our approach is verified theoretically and through experiments.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
compressive sensingmatching pursuitOMPCoSaMPSPGOMPside-channel attack
Contact author(s)
chou @ ntu edu sg
2018-12-03: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Changhai Ou and Chengju Zhou and Siew-Kei Lam},
      title = {Compressive Sensing based Leakage Sampling and Reconstruction: A First Study},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/1149},
      year = {2018},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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