Affine Masking Against Higher-Order Side Channel Analysis

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In the last decade, an effort has been made by the research community to find efficient ways to thwart Side Channel Analysis (SCA) against physical implementations of cryptographic algorithms. A common countermeasure for implementations of block ciphers is Boolean masking which randomizes by the bitwise addition of one or several random value(s) to the variables to be protected. However, advanced techniques called higher-order SCA attacks exist that overcome such a countermeasure. These attacks are greatly favored by the very nature of Boolean masking. In this paper, the authors revisit the affine masking initially introduced by Von Willich in 2001 as an alternative to Boolean masking.