Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/1053

Modeling Memory Faults in Signature and Authenticated Encryption Schemes

Marc Fischlin and Felix GŁnther

Abstract: Memory fault attacks, inducing errors in computations, have been an ever-evolving threat to cryptographic schemes since their discovery for cryptography by Boneh et al. (Eurocrypt 1997). Initially requiring physical tampering with hardware, the software-based rowhammer attack put forward by Kim et al. (ISCA 2014) enabled fault attacks also through malicious software running on the same host machine. This led to concerning novel attack vectors, for example on deterministic signature schemes, whose approach to avoid dependency on (good) randomness renders them vulnerable to fault attacks. This has been demonstrated in realistic adversarial settings in a series of recent works. However, a unified formalism of different memory fault attacks, enabling also to argue the security of countermeasures, is missing yet.

In this work, we suggest a generic extension for existing security models that enables a game-based treatment of cryptographic fault resilience. Our modeling specifies exemplary memory fault attack types of different strength, ranging from random bit-flip faults to differential (rowhammer-style) faults to full adversarial control on indicated memory variables. We apply our model first to deterministic signatures to revisit known fault attacks as well as to establish provable guarantees of fault resilience for proposed fault-attack countermeasures. In a second application to nonce-misuse resistant authenticated encryption, we provide the first fault-attack treatment of the SIV mode of operation and give a provably secure fault-resilient variant.

Category / Keywords: fault attacks, security model, fault resilience, deterministic signatures, nonce-misuse resistant authenticated encryption

Original Publication (with major differences): CT-RSA 2020

Date: received 16 Sep 2019, last revised 16 Jan 2020

Contact author: marc fischlin at cryptoplexity de, mail at felixguenther info

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20200116:090957 (All versions of this report)

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