Paper 2018/852

Fault Attacks on Nonce-based Authenticated Encryption: Application to Keyak and Ketje

Christoph Dobraunig, Stefan Mangard, Florian Mendel, and Robert Primas


In the context of fault attacks on nonce-based authenticated encryption, an attacker faces two restrictions. The first is the uniqueness of the nonce for each new encryption that prevents the attacker from collecting pairs of correct and faulty outputs to perform, e.g., differential fault attacks. The second restriction concerns the verification/decryption, which releases only verified plaintext. While many recent works either exploit misuse scenarios (e.g. nonce-reuse, release of unverified plaintext), we turn the fact that the decryption/verification gives us information on the effect of a fault (whether a fault changed a value or not) against it. In particular, we extend the idea of statistical ineffective fault attacks (SIFA) to target the initialization performed in nonce-based authenticated encryption schemes. By targeting the initialization performed during decryption/verification, most nonce-based authenticated encryption schemes provide the attacker with an oracle whether a fault was ineffective or not. This information is all the attacker needs to mount statistical ineffective fault attacks. To demonstrate the practical threat of the attack, we target software implementations of the authenticated encryption schemes Keyak and Ketje. The presented fault attacks can be carried out without the need of sophisticated equipment. In our practical evaluation the inputs corresponding to 24 ineffective fault inductions were required to reveal large parts of the secret key in both scenarios.

Note: Just added acknowledgements

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Minor revision. Selected Areas in Cryptography (SAC) 2018
Fault AttackStatistical Ineffective Fault AttackSIFAAuthenticated EncryptionKeyakKetje
Contact author(s)
robert primas @ iaik tugraz at
2018-09-21: revised
2018-09-20: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Christoph Dobraunig and Stefan Mangard and Florian Mendel and Robert Primas},
      title = {Fault Attacks on Nonce-based Authenticated Encryption: Application to Keyak and Ketje},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/852},
      year = {2018},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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