Paper 2019/937

Fault Template Attacks on Block Ciphers Exploiting Fault Propagation

Sayandeep Saha, Arnab Bag, Debapriya Basu Roy, Sikhar Patranabis, and Debdeep Mukhopadhyay


Fault attacks (FA) are one of the potent practical threats to modern cryptographic implementations. Over the years the FA techniques have evolved, gradually moving towards the exploitation of device-centric properties of the faults. In this paper, we exploit the fact that activation and propagation of a fault through a given combinational circuit (i.e., observability of a fault) is data-dependent. Next, we show that this property of combinational circuits leads to powerful Fault Template Attacks (FTA), even for implementations having dedicated protections against both power and fault-based vulnerabilities. The attacks found in this work are applicable even if the fault injection is made at the middle rounds of a block cipher, which are out of reach for most of the other existing fault analysis strategies. Quite evidently, they also work for a known-plaintext scenario. Moreover, the middle round attacks are entirely blind in the sense that no access to the ciphertexts (correct/faulty) or plaintexts are required. The adversary is only assumed to have the power of repeating an unknown plaintext several times. Practical validation over a hardware implementation of SCA-FA protected PRESENT, and simulated evaluation on a public software implementation of protected AES prove the efficacy of the proposed attacks.

Note: This is an extended version of the paper accepted in Eurocrypt 2020

Available format(s)
Publication info
A major revision of an IACR publication in Eurocrypt 2020
Fault Attack Fault Propagation Masking.
Contact author(s)
sayandeep iitkgp @ gmail com
amiarnabbolchi @ gmail com
dbroy24 @ gmail com
sikharpatranabis @ gmail com
debdeep @ iitkgp ac in
2020-02-20: last of 4 revisions
2019-08-18: received
See all versions
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Sayandeep Saha and Arnab Bag and Debapriya Basu Roy and Sikhar Patranabis and Debdeep Mukhopadhyay},
      title = {Fault Template Attacks on Block Ciphers Exploiting Fault Propagation},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2019/937},
      year = {2019},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
Note: In order to protect the privacy of readers, does not use cookies or embedded third party content.