Paper 2020/766

The uncertainty of Side-Channel Analysis: A way to leverage from heuristics

Unai Rioja, Servio Paguada, Lejla Batina, and Igor Armendariz


Performing a comprehensive side-channel analysis evaluation of small embedded devices is a process known for its variability and complexity. In real-world experimental setups, the results are largely influenced by a huge amount of parameters that are not easily adjusted without trial and error and are heavily relying on the experience of professional security analysts. In this paper, we advocate the use of an existing statistical methodology called Six Sigma (6σ) for side-channel analysis optimization for this purpose. This well-known methodology is commonly used in other industrial fields, such as production and quality engineering, to reduce the variability of industrial processes. We propose a customized Six Sigma methodology, which enables even a less-experienced security analysis to select optimal values for the different variables that are critical for the side-channel analysis procedure. Moreover, we show how our methodology helps in improving different phases in the side-channel analysis process.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
Cryptographic hardwareDeep LearningSide-channel analysisSixSigma
Contact author(s)
urioja @ ikerlan es
slpaguada @ ikerlan es
iarmendariz @ ikerlan es
2020-06-24: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Unai Rioja and Servio Paguada and Lejla Batina and Igor Armendariz},
      title = {The uncertainty of Side-Channel Analysis: A way to leverage from heuristics},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/766},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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