Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/937

Breach the Gate: Exploiting Observability for Fault Template Attacks on Block Ciphers

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

Abstract: Fault attacks (FA) are one of the potent practical threats to modern cryptographic implementations. Over the years the FA tech- niques 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 cir- cuit (i.e. observability of a fault) is data dependent. Next, we show that this property of combinational circuits leads to powerful fault attacks even for implementations having dedicated and provably secure protec- tions against both power and fault-assisted 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 (cor- rect/faulty) or plaintexts are required. The adversary is only assumed to have the power of repeating an unknown plaintext several times. Ex- perimental validation over software implementations of PRESENT and AES proves the efficacy of the proposed attacks.

Category / Keywords: implementation / Fault Attack Fault Propagation Masking.

Date: received 17 Aug 2019

Contact author: sayandeep iitkgp at gmail com, dbroy24@gmail com, amiarnabbolchi@gmail com, sikharpatranabis@gmail com, debdeep@iitkgp ac in

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Version: 20190818:155402 (All versions of this report)

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