Paper 2020/1347

A Systematic Appraisal of Side Channel Evaluation Strategies

Melissa Azouaoui, Davide Bellizia, Ileana Buhan, Nicolas Debande, Sebastien Duval, Christophe Giraud, Eliane Jaulmes, Francois Koeune, Elisabeth Oswald, Francois-Xavier Standaert, and Carolyn Whitnall


In this paper we examine the central question that is how well do side channel evaluation regimes capture the true security level of a product. Concretely, answering this question requires considering the optimality of the attack/evaluation strategy selected by the evaluator, and the various steps to instantiate it. We draw on a number of published works and discuss whether state-of-the-art solutions for the different steps of a side-channel security evaluation offer bounds or guarantees of optimality, or if they are inherently heuristic. We use this discussion to provide an informal rating of the steps' optimality and to put forward where risks of overstated security levels remain.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Security Standardisation Research Conference (SSR) 2020
side channel attacksevaluationcertificationcommon criteriaFIPS 140
Contact author(s)
Elisabeth Oswald @ aau at
2020-10-29: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Melissa Azouaoui and Davide Bellizia and Ileana Buhan and Nicolas Debande and Sebastien Duval and Christophe Giraud and Eliane Jaulmes and Francois Koeune and Elisabeth Oswald and Francois-Xavier Standaert and Carolyn Whitnall},
      title = {A Systematic Appraisal of Side Channel Evaluation Strategies},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/1347},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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