Paper 2022/807

Side-Channel Analysis of Saber KEM Using Amplitude-Modulated EM Emanations

Ruize Wang, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Kalle Ngo, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Elena Dubrova, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

In the ongoing last round of NIST’s post-quantum cryptography standardization competition, side-channel analysis of finalists is a main focus of attention. While their resistance to timing, power and near field electromagnetic (EM) side-channels has been thoroughly investigated, amplitude-modulated EM emanations has not been considered so far. The attacks based on amplitude-modulated EM emanations are more stealthy because they exploit side-channels intertwined into the signal transmitted by an on-chip antenna. Thus, they can be mounted on a distance from the device under attack. In this paper, we present the first results of an amplitude-modulated EM side-channel analysis of one of the NIST PQ finalists, Saber key encapsulation mechanism (KEM), implemented on the nRF52832 (ARM Cortex-M4) system-on-chip supporting Bluetooth 5. By capturing amplitude-modulated EM emanations during decapsulation, we can recover each bit of the session key with 0.91 probability on average.

Available format(s)
Attacks and cryptanalysis
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Euromicro Conference on Digital Systems Design 2022
Post-quantum cryptography Saber KEM LWE/LWR-based KEM Side-channel attack EM analysis Deep learning
Contact author(s)
ruize @ kth se
kngo @ kth se
dubrova @ kth se
2022-06-23: approved
2022-06-21: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Ruize Wang and Kalle Ngo and Elena Dubrova},
      title = {Side-Channel Analysis of Saber KEM Using Amplitude-Modulated EM Emanations},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/807},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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