Paper 2022/461

Information Leakage in Code-based Masking: A Systematic Evaluation by Higher-Order Attacks

Wei Cheng, Sylvain Guilley, and Jean-Luc Danger


Code-based masking is a recent line of research on masking schemes aiming at provably counteracting side-channel attacks. It generalizes and unifies many masking schemes within a coding-theoretic formalization. In code-based masking schemes, the tuning parameters are the underlying linear codes, whose choice significantly affects the side-channel resilience. In this paper, we investigate the exploitability of the information leakage in code-based masking and present attack-based evaluation results of higher-order optimal distinguisher (HOOD). Particularly, we consider two representative instances of code-based masking, namely inner product masking (IPM) and Shamir's secret sharing (SSS) based masking. Our results do confirm the state-of-the-art theoretical derivatives in an empirical manner with numerically simulated measurements. Specifically, theoretical results are based on quantifying information leakage; we further complete the panorama with attack-based evaluations by investigating the exploitability of the leakage. Moreover, we classify all possible candidates of linear codes in IPM with 2 and 3 shares and (3,1)-SSS based masking, and highlight both optimal and worst codes for them. Relying on our empirical evaluations, we therefore recommend investigating the coding-theoretic properties to find the best linear codes in strengthening instances of code-based masking. As for applications, our attack-based evaluation directly empowers designers, by employing optimal linear codes, to enhance the protection of code-based masking. Our framework leverages simulated leakage traces, hence allowing for source code validation or patching in case it is found to be attackable.

Note: Adding DOI of this paper and fixing two formatting issues in the published version.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Minor revision.IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Side-Channel AttacksCountermeasuresLeakage ExploitationMutual InformationInner Product MaskingShamir's Secret SharingCode-based MaskingPre-silicon Simulation-based Evaluation
Contact author(s)
wei cheng @ telecom-paris fr
sylvain guilley @ secure-ic com
2022-05-16: last of 2 revisions
2022-04-22: received
See all versions
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Wei Cheng and Sylvain Guilley and Jean-Luc Danger},
      title = {Information Leakage in Code-based Masking: A Systematic Evaluation by Higher-Order Attacks},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/461},
      year = {2022},
      doi = {10.1109/TIFS.2022.3167914},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
Note: In order to protect the privacy of readers, does not use cookies or embedded third party content.