Paper 2020/1542

Feeding Three Birds With One Scone: A Generic Duplication Based Countermeasure To Fault Attacks (Extended Version)

Anubhab Baksi, Shivam Bhasin, Jakub Breier, Anupam Chattopadhyay, and Vinay B. Y. Kumar


In the current world of the Internet-of-things and edge computing, computations are increasingly performed locally on small connected systems. As such, those devices are often vulnerable to adversarial physical access, enabling a plethora of physical attacks which is a challenge even if such devices are built for security. As cryptography is one of the cornerstones of secure communication among devices, the pertinence of fault attacks is becoming increasingly apparent in a setting where a device can be easily accessed in a physical manner. In particular, two recently proposed fault attacks, Statistical Ineffective Fault Attack (SIFA) and the Fault Template Attack (FTA) are shown to be formidable due to their capability to bypass the common duplication based countermeasures. Duplication based countermeasures, deployed to counter the Differential Fault Attack (DFA), work by duplicating the execution of the cipher followed by a comparison to sense the presence of any effective fault, followed by an appropriate recovery procedure. While a handful of countermeasures are proposed against SIFA, no such countermeasure is known to thwart FTA to date. In this work, we propose a novel countermeasure based on duplication, which can protect against both SIFA and FTA. The proposal is also lightweight with only a marginally additional cost over simple duplication based countermeasures. Our countermeasure further protects against all known variants of DFA, including Selmke, Heyszl, Sigl’s attack from FDTC 2016. It does not inherently leak side-channel information and is easily adaptable for any symmetric key primitive. The validation of our countermeasure has been done through gate-level fault simulation.

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MAJOR revision.Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference (DATE) - 2021
Fault AttackCountermeasuresDFASIFAFTA
Contact author(s)
anubhab001 @ e ntu edu sg
2020-12-14: revised
2020-12-13: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Anubhab Baksi and Shivam Bhasin and Jakub Breier and Anupam Chattopadhyay and Vinay B.  Y.  Kumar},
      title = {Feeding Three Birds With One Scone: A Generic Duplication Based Countermeasure To Fault Attacks (Extended Version)},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/1542},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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