Specification and Verification of Side Channel Declassification

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Executive Summary

Side channel attacks have emerged as a serious threat to the security of both networked and embedded systems - in particular through the implementations of cryptographic operations. Side channels can be difficult to model formally, but with careful coding and program transformation techniques it may be possible to verify security in the presence of specific side-channel attacks. But what if a program intentionally makes a tradeoff between security and efficiency and leaks some information through a side channel? In this paper the authors study such tradeoffs using ideas from recent research on declassification.

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