Paper 2021/1452

A Lightweight Implementation of Saber Resistant Against Side-Channel Attacks

Abubakr Abdulgadir, Kamyar Mohajerani, Viet Ba Dang, Jens-Peter Kaps, and Kris Gaj


The field of post-quantum cryptography aims to develop and analyze algorithms that can withstand classical and quantum cryptanalysis. The NIST PQC standardization process, now in its third round, specifies ease of protection against side-channel analysis as an important selection criterion. In this work, we develop and validate a masked hardware implementation of Saber key encapsulation mechanism, a third-round NIST PQC finalist. We first design a baseline lightweight hardware architecture of Saber and then apply side-channel countermeasures. Our protected hardware implementation is significantly faster than previously reported protected software and software/hardware co-design implementations. Additionally, applying side-channel countermeasures to our baseline design incurs approximately 2.9x and 1.4x penalty in terms of the number of LUTs and latency, respectively, in modern FPGAs.

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Publication info
Published elsewhere. Minor revision. To appear in the proceedings of Indocrypt 2021
public-key cryptographyPost-Quantum CryptographyKey Encapsulation Mechanismhardware implementationsSide-Channel AnalysisFPGA
Contact author(s)
aabdulga @ gmu edu
mmohajer @ gmu edu
vdang6 @ gmu edu
jkaps @ gmu edu
kgaj @ gmu edu
2021-10-29: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Abubakr Abdulgadir and Kamyar Mohajerani and Viet Ba Dang and Jens-Peter Kaps and Kris Gaj},
      title = {A Lightweight Implementation of Saber Resistant Against Side-Channel Attacks},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/1452},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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