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ICISC
2009

Side-Channel Analysis of Cryptographic Software via Early-Terminating Multiplications

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Side-Channel Analysis of Cryptographic Software via Early-Terminating Multiplications
Abstract. The design of embedded processors demands a careful tradeoff between many conflicting objectives such as performance, silicon area and power consumption. Finding such a trade-off can often ignore the issue of security, which can cause, otherwise secure, software to leak information through so-called micro-architectural side channels. In this paper we show that early-terminating integer multipliers found in many embedded processors (e.g., ARM7TDMI) represent an instance of this problem. The early-termination mechanism causes differences in the time taken to compute a multiplication depending on the magnitude of the operands (e.g., up to three clock cycles on an ARM7TDMI processor), which are observable via variations in execution time and power consumption. Exploiting the early-termination mechanism makes Simple Power Analysis (SPA) attacks relatively straightforward to conduct, and may even allow one to attack implementations with integrated countermeasures that would not lea...
Johann Großschädl, Elisabeth Oswald, Da
Added 19 Feb 2011
Updated 19 Feb 2011
Type Journal
Year 2009
Where ICISC
Authors Johann Großschädl, Elisabeth Oswald, Dan Page, Michael Tunstall
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