Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2022/301

How Practical are Fault Injection Attacks, Really?

Jakub Breier and Xiaolu Hou

Abstract: Fault injection attacks (FIA) are a class of active physical attacks, mostly used for malicious purposes such as extraction of cryptographic keys, privilege escalation, attacks on neural network implementations. There are many techniques that can be used to cause the faults in integrated circuits, many of them coming from the area of failure analysis. In this paper we tackle the topic of practicality of FIA. We analyze the most commonly used techniques that can be found in the literature, such as voltage/clock glitching, electromagnetic pulses, lasers, and Rowhammer attacks. To summarize, FIA can be mounted on most commonly used architectures from ARM, Intel, AMD, by utilizing injection devices that are often below the thousand dollar mark. Therefore, we believe these attacks can be considered practical in many scenarios, especially when the attacker can physically access the target device.

Category / Keywords: applications / fault injection attacks, hardware security, survey

Date: received 4 Mar 2022, last revised 15 Mar 2022

Contact author: jakub breier at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20220315:075600 (All versions of this report)

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