Paper 2019/355

To Infect Or Not To Infect: A Critical Analysis Of Infective Countermeasures In Fault Attacks

Anubhab Baksi, Dhiman Saha, and Sumanta Sarkar


As fault based cryptanalysis is becoming more and more of a practical threat, it is imperative to make efforts to devise suitable countermeasures. In this regard, the so-called ``infective countermeasures'' have garnered particular attention from the community due to its ability in inhibiting differential fault attacks without explicitly detecting the fault. We observe that despite being adopted over a decade ago, a systematic study of infective countermeasures is missing from the literature. Moreover, there seems to be a lack of proper security analysis of the schemes proposed, as quite a few of them have been broken promptly. Our first contribution comes in the form of a generalization of infective schemes which aids us with a better insight into the vulnerabilities, scopes for cost reduction and possible improvements. This way, we are able to propose lightweight alternatives of two existing schemes. Further we analyze shortcomings of LatinCrypt'12 and CHES'14 schemes and propose a simple patch for the former.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Minor revision. JCEN
fault countermeasureinfectiondifferential fault analysis
Contact author(s)
ANUBHAB001 @ e ntu edu sg
2020-05-31: last of 11 revisions
2019-04-07: received
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      author = {Anubhab Baksi and Dhiman Saha and Sumanta Sarkar},
      title = {To Infect Or Not To Infect: A Critical Analysis Of Infective Countermeasures In Fault Attacks},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2019/355},
      year = {2019},
      doi = {10.1007/s13389-020-00224-9},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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