Paper 2020/1008

Differential Power Analysis Attacks on Different Implementations of AES with the ChipWhisperer Nano

Leah Lathrop


Side-channel attacks exploit information that is leaked from hardware. The differential power analysis (DPA) attack aims at extracting sensitive information that is processed by the operations in a cryptographic primitive. Power traces are collected and subsequently processed using statistical methods. The ChipWhisperer Nano is a low-cost, open-source device that can be used to implement and study side-channel attacks. This paper describes how the DPA attack with the difference of means method can be used to extract the secret key from both an 8-bit and a 32-bit implementation of AES using the ChipWhisperer Nano. The results show that although it is possible to carry out the attack on both implementations, the attack on the 32-bit implementation requires more traces than the 8-bit implementation.

Note: This paper was written as an assignment for a cryptography lecture. I am publishing it here because I think it might help someone who is getting started on studying side-channel attacks.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
side-channel analysisdifferential power analysisChipWhispererHardware Security
Contact author(s)
l lathrop @ oth-aw de
2020-08-22: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Leah Lathrop},
      title = {Differential Power Analysis Attacks on Different Implementations of AES with the ChipWhisperer Nano},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/1008},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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