Towards Side-Channel Secure Authenticated Encryption

Side-channel attacks and in particular differential power analysis (DPA) attacks pose a serious threat to cryptographic implementations. One approach to counteract such attacks are cryptographic schemes based on fresh re-keying. In settings of pre-shared secret keys, such schemes render DPA attacks infeasible by deriving session keys and by ensuring that the attacker cannot collect side-channel leakage on the session key during cryptographic operations with different inputs. While these schemes can be applied to secure standard communication settings, current re-keying approaches are unable to provide protection in settings where the same input needs to be processed multiple times.

In this work, we therefore adapt the re-keying approach and present a symmetric authenticated encryption scheme that is secure against DPA attacks and that does not have such a usage restriction. This means that our scheme fully complies with the requirements given in the CAESAR call and hence, can be used like other nonce-based authenticated encryption schemes without loss of side-channel protection. Its resistance against side-channel analysis is highly relevant for several applications in practice, like bulk storage settings in general and the protection of FPGA bitfiles and firmware images in particular.

Publication Details:

Christoph Dobraunig, Maria Eichlseder, Stefan Mangard, Florian Mendel, Thomas Unterluggauer: ISAP – Towards Side-Channel Secure Authenticated Encryption. FSE 2017