Side Channel Analysis of Cryptographic Software via Early-Terminating Multiplications

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 the authors 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.

Provided by: University of Brighton Topic: Security Date Added: Jun 2010 Format: PDF

Find By Topic