Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/497

SoK: Design Tools for Side-Channel-Aware Implementations

Ileana Buhan and Lejla Batina and Yuval Yarom and Patrick Schaumont

Abstract: Side-channel attacks that leak sensitive information through a computing device’s interaction with its physical environment have proven to be a severe threat to devices’ security, particularly when adversaries have unfettered physical access to the device. Traditional approaches for leakage detection measure the physical properties of the device. Hence, they cannot be used during the design process and fail to provide root cause analysis. An alternative approach that is gaining traction is to automate leakage detection by modeling the device. The demand to understand the scope, benefits, and limitations of the proposed tools intensifies with the increase in the number of proposals.

In this SoK, we classify approaches to automated leakage detection based on the model’s source of truth. We classify the existing tools on two main parameters: whether the model includes measurements from a concrete device and the abstraction level of the device specification used for constructing the model. We survey the proposed tools to determine the current knowledge level across the domain and identify open problems. In particular, we highlight the absence of evaluation methodologies and metrics that would compare proposals’ effectiveness from across the domain. We believe that our results help practitioners who want to use automated leakage detection and researchers interested in advancing the knowledge and improving automated leakage detection.

Category / Keywords: implementation / leakage detection, simulation, implementation

Date: received 17 Apr 2021

Contact author: ileana buhan at ru nl, lejla@cs ru nl, yval@cs adelaide edu au, pschaumont@wpi edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20210419:061103 (All versions of this report)

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