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A Note on the Security of CHES 2014 Symmetric Infective Countermeasure

Abstract : Over the years, fault injection has become one of the most dangerous threats for embedded devices such as smartcards. It is thus mandatory for any embedded system to implement efficient protections against this hazard. Among the various countermeasures suggested so far, the idea of infective computation seems fascinating, probably due to its aggressive strategy. Originally conceived to protect asymmetric cryptosystems, infective computation has been recently adapted to symmetric systems. This paper investigates the security of a new symmetric infective countermeasure suggested at CHES 2014. By noticing that the number of executed rounds is not protected, we develop four different attacks that exploit the infection algorithm to disturb the round counter and related variables. Our attacks allow one to efficiently recover the secret key of the underlying cryptosystem by using any of the three most popular fault models used in literature.
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Alberto Battistello, Christophe Giraud. A Note on the Security of CHES 2014 Symmetric Infective Countermeasure. 7th International Workshop on Constructive Side-Channel Analysis and Secure Design (COSADE), Apr 2016, Graz, AUSTRIA, Austria. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-43283-0_9⟩. ⟨hal-02176878⟩



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