Paper 2022/523

A side-channel based disassembler for the ARM-Cortex M0

Jurian van Geest and Ileana Buhan


The most common application for side-channel attacks is the extraction of secret information, such as key material, from the implementation of a cryptographic algorithm. However, using side-channel information, we can extract other types of information related to the internal state of a computing device, such as the instructions executed and the content of registers. We used machine learning to build a side-channel disassembler for the ARM-Cortex M0 architecture, which can extract the executed instructions from the power traces of the device. Our disassembler achieves a success rate of 99% under ideal conditions and 88.2% under realistic conditions when distinguishing between groups of instructions. We also provide an overview of the lessons learned in relation to data preparation and noise minimization techniques.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Artificial Intelligence in Hardware Security (AIHWS 2022)
Contact author(s)
ileana buhan @ ru nl
jurianvgeest @ gmail com
2022-05-02: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Jurian van Geest and Ileana Buhan},
      title = {A side-channel based disassembler for the ARM-Cortex M0},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/523},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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