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Education and Innovation in Embedded Systems Design

USI Università della Svizzera italiana, USI Faculty of Informatics, Advanced Learning and Research Institute USI Università della Svizzera italiana USI Faculty of Informatics USI Advanced Learning and Research Institute
TitleAutomatic Application of Power Analysis Countermeasures
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBayrak, A. Galip, F. Regazzoni, D. Novo Bruna, P. Brisk, F-X. Standaert, and P. Ienne
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computers
VolumePP
Issue99
Date Published12/2013
ISSN0018-9340
Abstract

We introduce a compiler that automatically inserts software countermeasures to protect cryptographic algorithms against power-based side-channel attacks. The compiler first estimates which instruction instances leak the most information through side-channels. This information is obtained either by dynamic analysis, evaluating an information theoretic metric over the power traces acquired during the execution of the input program, or by static analysis. As information leakage implies a loss of security, the compiler then identifies (groups of) instruction instances to protect with a software countermeasure such as random precharging or Boolean masking. As software protection incurs significant overhead in terms of cryptosystem runtime and memory usage, the compiler protects the minimum number of instruction instances to achieve a desired level of security. The compiler is evaluated on two block ciphers, AES and Clefia; our experiments demonstrate that the compiler can automatically identify and protect the most important instruction instances. To date, these software countermeasures have been inserted manually by security experts, who are not necessarily the main cryptosystem developers. Our compiler offers significant productivity gains for cryptosystem developers who wish to protect their implementations from side-channel attacks.

DOI10.1109/TC.2013.219