Paper 2022/724

A Power Side-Channel Attack on the Reed-Muller Reed-Solomon Version of the HQC Cryptosystem

Thomas Schamberger, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Lukas Holzbaur, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Julian Renner, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Antonia Wachter-Zeh, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Georg Sigl, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Abstract

The code-based post-quantum algorithm Hamming Quasi-Cyclic (HQC) is a third round alternative candidate in the NIST standardization project. For their third round version the authors utilize a new combination of error correcting codes, namely a combination of a Reed-Muller and a Reed-Solomon code, which requires an adaption of published attacks. We identify that the power side-channel attack by Uneo et al. from CHES 2021 does not work in practice as they miss the fact that the implemented Reed-Muller decoder does not have a fixed decoding boundary. In this work we provide a novel attack strategy that again allows for a successful attack. Our attack does not rely on simulation to verify it success but is proven with high probability for the HQC parameter sets. In contrast to the timing side-channel attack by Guo et al. we are able to reduce the required attack queries by a factor of 12 and are able to eliminate the inherent uncertainty of their used timing oracle. We show practical attack results utilizing a power side-channel of the used Reed-Solomon decoder on an ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller. In addition, we provide a discussion on how or whether our attack strategy to be usable with the side-channel targets of mentioned related work. Finally, we use information set decoding to evaluate the remaining attack complexity for partially retrieved secret keys. This work again emphasizes the need for a side-channel secure implementation of all relevant building blocks of HQC.

Metadata
Available format(s)
PDF
Category
Attacks and cryptanalysis
Publication info
Preprint.
Keywords
Error Correction HQC Post-Quantum Cryptography Power Analysis Side-Channel Analysis
Contact author(s)
t schamberger @ tum de
lukas holzbaur @ tum de
julian renner @ tum de
antonia wachter-zeh @ tum de
sigl @ tum de
History
2022-06-08: approved
2022-06-07: received
See all versions
Short URL
https://ia.cr/2022/724
License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
CC BY-NC-ND

BibTeX

@misc{cryptoeprint:2022/724,
      author = {Thomas Schamberger and Lukas Holzbaur and Julian Renner and Antonia Wachter-Zeh and Georg Sigl},
      title = {A Power Side-Channel Attack on the Reed-Muller Reed-Solomon Version of the HQC Cryptosystem},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/724},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{https://eprint.iacr.org/2022/724}},
      url = {https://eprint.iacr.org/2022/724}
}
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