Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2020/317

Physical Time-Varying Transfer Functions as Generic Low-Overhead Power-SCA Countermeasure

Archisman Ghosh and Debayan Das and Shreyas Sen

Abstract: Mathematically-secure cryptographic algorithms leak significant side-channel information through their power supplies when implemented on a physical platform. These side-channel leakages can be exploited by an attacker to extract the secret key of an embedded device. The existing state-of-the-art countermeasures mainly focus on the power balancing, gate-level masking, or signal-to-noise (SNR) reduction using noise injection and signature attenuation, all of which suffer either from the limitations of high power/area overheads, performance degradation or are not synthesizable. In this article, we propose a generic low-overhead digital-friendly power SCA countermeasure utilizing physical Time-Varying Transfer Functions (TVTF) by randomly shuffling distributed switched capacitors to significantly obfuscate the traces in the time domain. System-level simulation results of the TVTF-AES implemented in TSMC 65nm CMOS technology show > 4000x MTD improvement over the unprotected implementation with ~ 1.25x power and ~ 1.2x area overheads, and without any performance degradation.

Category / Keywords: implementation / Power Side-Channel Attack, Low-overhead Countermeasure, Physical Obfuscation, Time-varying transfer function, Synthesizable, Generic.

Date: received 14 Mar 2020

Contact author: ghosh69 at purdue edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20200315:162739 (All versions of this report)

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