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A Masked Pure-Hardware Implementation of Kyber Cryptographic Algorithm

December 1, 2022


Tendayi Kamucheka - University of Arkansas


Security against side-channel assisted attacks remains a focus and concern in the ongoing standardization process of quantum-computer-resistant cryptography algorithms. Hiding and masking techniques are currently under investigation to protect the Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) algorithms in the NIST PQC standardization process against sophisticated side-channel attacks. Between hiding and masking, masking is emerging as a popular option due to its simplicity and minimized cost of implementation compared with hiding, which often requires duplication of hardware resources and advanced analysis and design techniques to implement correctly. This work presents a pure hardware implementation of masked CCA2-secure Kyber-512, a candidate chosen by NIST to be standardized. A novel hiding technique that leverages the advantages of FPGAs over micro-controllers and is demonstrably secure against Simple Power Analysis (SPA) and Differential Power Analysis (DPA) side-channel attacks is presented. Finally, a novel hybrid hiding-masking approach is presented that achieves a reduced hardware resource and clock-cycle penalty compared with previously reported figures for similar PQC candidates. The Test Vector Leakage Assessment (TVLA) is adopted to demonstrate the absence of side-channel leakage.

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Related Topics

Security and Privacy: post-quantum cryptography

Created December 01, 2022, Updated December 06, 2022