Paper 2022/1201

Consistent, Efficient and Leakage-Model Free Mutual Information Estimation

Arnab Roy, University of Klagenfurt
Aakash Chowdhury, University of Klagenfurt
Elisabeth Oswald, University of Klagenfurt

The mutual information between the observable device leakage and the unknown key is a key metric in the context of side channel attacks, evaluations, and countermeasures. Estimating this mutual information has been a problem and was addressed in several recent contributions. We explain why previous work has ended up in a "catch-22'' and we show how to avoid this situation by using a leakage model free estimation approach based on a recently discovered, consistent mutual information estimator. Our work demonstrates that mutual information estimation in the side channel setting can be done extremely efficiently (even in a multivariate setting), with strong mathematical guarantees, without the need for an explicit device leakage model, discretisation, or assumptions about the nature of the device leakage.

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arnab roy @ aau at
aakash chowdhury @ aau at
elisabeth oswald @ aau at
2022-09-12: approved
2022-09-12: received
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      author = {Arnab Roy and Aakash Chowdhury and Elisabeth Oswald},
      title = {Consistent, Efficient and Leakage-Model Free Mutual Information Estimation},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/1201},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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