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Practical Improvements of Profiled Side-Channel Attacks on a Hardware Crypto-Accelerator

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Executive Summary

This paper investigates the relevance of the theoretical framework on profiled side-channel attacks presented by F.-X. Standaert et al. at Eurocrypt 2009. The analyses consist in a case-study based on side channel measurements acquired experimentally from a hardwired cryptographic accelerator. Therefore, with respect to previous formal analyses carried out on software measurements or on simulated data, the investigations the authors describe are more complex, due to the underlying chip's architecture and to the large amount of algorithmic noise. In this difficult context, they show however that with an engineer's mindset, two techniques can greatly improve both the off-line profiling and the on-line attack. First, they explore the appropriateness of different choices for the sensitive variables.

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