Paper 2021/1021

Power-based Side Channel Attack Analysis on PQC Algorithms

Tendayi Kamucheka, Michael Fahr, Tristen Teague, Alexander Nelson, David Andrews, and Miaoqing Huang


Power-based side channel attacks have been successfully conducted against proven cryptographic algorithms including standardized algorithms such as AES and RSA. These algorithms are now supported by best practices in hardware and software to defend against malicious attacks. As NIST conducts the third round of the post-quantum cryptography (PQC) standardization process, a key feature is to identify the security candidate algorithms have against side channel attacks, and the tradeoffs that must be made to obtain that level of protection. In this work, we document the development of a multi-target and multi-tool platform to conduct test vector leakage assessment of the candidate algorithms. The long-term goals of the platform are to 1) quantify test vector leakage of each of the primary and alternate candidates, 2) quantify test vector leakage of each of the candidates when adjustments and adaptations (e.g., masking) are applied, and 3) assess the equivalent security levels when tools of varying sophistication are used in the attack (e.g., commodity vs. specialized hardware). The goal of this work is to document the progress towards that standardized platform and to invite discussion in how to extend, refine, and distribute our tools.

Note: This paper was presented at the Third NIST PQC Standardization Conference, June 7-9, 2021.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
Side channel attackPost-quantum cryptographyPower analysis
Contact author(s)
mqhuang @ uark edu
2021-08-06: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Tendayi Kamucheka and Michael Fahr and Tristen Teague and Alexander Nelson and David Andrews and Miaoqing Huang},
      title = {Power-based Side Channel Attack Analysis on PQC Algorithms},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/1021},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
Note: In order to protect the privacy of readers, does not use cookies or embedded third party content.