Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/1520

Ark of the ECC: An open-source ECDSA power analysis attack on a FPGA based Curve P-256 implementation

Jean-Pierre Thibault and Colin O’Flynn and Alex Dewar

Abstract: Power analysis attacks on ECC have been presented since almost the very beginning of DPA itself, even before the standardization of AES. Given that power analysis attacks against AES are well known and have a large body of practical artifacts to demonstrate attacks on both software and hardware implementations, it is surprising that these artifacts are generally lacking for ECC. In this work we begin to remedy this by providing a complete open-source ECDSA attack artifact, based on a high-quality hardware ECDSA core from the CrypTech project. We demonstrate an effective power analysis attack against an FPGA implementation of this core.

As many recent secure boot solutions are using ECDSA, efforts into building open-source artifacts to evaluate attacks on ECDSA are highly relevant to ongoing academic and industrial research programs. To demonstrate the value of this evaluation platform, we implement several countermeasures and show that evaluating leakage on hardware is critical to understand the effectiveness of a countermeasure.

Category / Keywords: public-key cryptography / power analysis, ECDSA, FPGA evaluation

Date: received 16 Nov 2021, last revised 16 Nov 2021

Contact author: coflynn at newae com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20211122:112408 (All versions of this report)

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