Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2018/355

Differential Fault Attacks on Deterministic Lattice Signatures

Leon Groot Bruinderink and Peter Pessl

Abstract: In this paper, we extend the applicability of differential fault attacks to lattice-based cryptography. We show how two deterministic lattice-based signature schemes, Dilithium and qTESLA, are vulnerable to such attacks. In particular, we demonstrate that single random faults can result in a nonce-reuse scenario which allows key recovery. We also expand this to fault-induced partial nonce-reuse attacks, which do not corrupt the validity of the computed signatures and thus are harder to detect.

Using linear algebra and lattice-basis reduction techniques, an attacker can extract one of the secret key elements after a successful fault injection. Some other parts of the key cannot be recovered, but we show that a tweaked signature algorithm can still successfully sign any message. We provide experimental verification of our attacks by performing clock glitching on an ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller. In particular, we show that up to 65.2% of the execution time of Dilithium is vulnerable to an unprofiled attack, where a random fault is injected anywhere during the signing procedure and still leads to a successful key-recovery.

Category / Keywords: implementation / differential fault attacks, post-quantum cryptography, lattice-based cryptography, digital signatures

Original Publication (with minor differences): IACR-CHES-2018

Date: received 16 Apr 2018, last revised 31 Oct 2018

Contact author: peter pessl at iaik tugraz at

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: Newest revision corrects a statement regarding applicable countermeasures.

Version: 20181031:125827 (All versions of this report)

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