Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2018/291

Simulations of Optical Emissions for Attacking AES and Masked AES

Guido Marco Bertoni and Lorenzo Grassi and Filippo Melzani

Abstract: In this paper we present a novel attack based on photonic emission analysis targeting software implementations of AES. We focus on the particular case in which the attacker can collect the photonic emission of a limited number of sense amplifi ers (e.g. only one) of the SRAM storing the S-Box. The attack consists in doing hypothesis on the secret key based on the knowledge of the partial output of the SubBytes operation. We also consider the possibility to attack a masked implementation of AES using the photonic emission analysis. In the case of masking, the attacker needs 2 leakages of the same encryption to overcome the randomization of the masks. For our analysis, we assume the same physical setup described in other previous works. Reported results are based on simulations with some hypothesis on the probability of photonic emission of a single transistor.

Category / Keywords: Photonic side channel, Side channel analysis, Light emission, AES, Boolean Masking, Chosen plaintext attack, Full key recovery

Original Publication (in the same form): SPACE 2015

Date: received 25 Mar 2018

Contact author: lorenzo grassi at iaik tugraz at

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20180328:023814 (All versions of this report)

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