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Power-based Side Channel Attack Analysis on PQC Algorithms

June 8, 2021


Tendayi Kamucheka - University of Arkansas


Power-based side channel attacks have been successfully conducted against proven cryptographic algorithms including standardized algorithms such as AES and RSA. These algorithms are now supported by best practices in hardware and software to defend against malicious attacks. As NIST conducts the third round of the post-quantum cryptography (PQC) standardization process, a key feature is to identify the security candidate algorithms have against side channel attacks, and the tradeoffs that must be made to obtain that level of protection. In this work, we document the development of a multi-target and multi-tool platform to conduct test vector leakage assessment of the candidate algorithms. The longterm goals of the platform are to 1) quantify test vector leakage of each of the primary and alternate candidates, 2) quantify test vector leakage of each of the candidates when adjustments and adaptations (e.g., masking) are applied, and 3) assess the equivalent security levels when tools of varying sophistication are used in the attack (e.g., commodity vs. specialized hardware). The goal of this work is to document the progress towards that standardized platform and to invite discussion in how to extend, refne, and distribute our tools.

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Related Topics

Security and Privacy: post-quantum cryptography

Created June 07, 2021, Updated June 10, 2021