Paper 2023/966

eLIMInate: a Leakage-focused ISE for Masked Implementation

Hao Cheng, University of Luxembourg
Daniel Page, University of Bristol
Weijia Wang, Shandong University

Even given a state-of-the-art masking scheme, masked software implementation of some cryptography functionality can pose significant challenges stemming, e.g., from simultaneous requirements for efficiency and security. In this paper we design an Instruction Set Extension (ISE) to address a specific element of said challenge, namely the elimination of leakage stemming from architectural and micro-architectural overwriting. Conceptually, the ISE allows a leakage-focused behavioural hint to be communicated from software to the micro-architecture: using it informs how computation is realised when applied to masking-specific data, which then offers an opportunity to eliminate associated leakage. We develop prototype, latency- and area-optimised implementations of the ISE design based on the RISC-V Ibex core. Using them, we demonstrate that use of the ISE can close the gap between assumptions about and actual behaviour of a device and thereby deliver an improved security guarantee.

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Publication info
Published by the IACR in TCHES 2024
side-channel attackmaskingRISC-VISE
Contact author(s)
hao cheng @ uni lu
daniel page @ bristol ac uk
2024-01-24: last of 3 revisions
2023-06-20: received
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      author = {Hao Cheng and Daniel Page and Weijia Wang},
      title = {eLIMInate: a Leakage-focused ISE for Masked Implementation},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2023/966},
      year = {2023},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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