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General Framework for Evaluating LWC Finalists in Terms of Resistance to Side-Channel Attacks

May 9, 2022


Jens-Peter Kaps - George Mason University


Side-channel resistance is one of the primary criteria identified by NIST for use in evaluating candidates in the Lightweight Cryptography (LWC) Standardization process. In Rounds 1 and 2 of this process, when the number of candidates was still substantial (56 and 32, respectively), evaluating this feature was close to impossible. With ten finalists remaining, side-channel resistance and its effect on the performance and cost of practical implementations become of utmost importance. In this paper, we propose a general framework for evaluating side-channel resistance of LWC candidates using resources, experience, and general practices of the cryptographic engineering community developed over the last two decades. The primary features of our approach are a) self-identification and self-characterization of side-channel security evaluation labs, b) distributed development of protected software and hardware implementations, matching certain high-level requirements and deliverable formats, and c) dynamic and transparent matching of evaluators with implementers in order to achieve the most meaningful and fair evaluation reports.

Presented at

LWC Workshop 2022

Event Details



Related Topics

Security and Privacy: cryptography

Created May 05, 2022, Updated May 11, 2022