International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Lichao Wu

Affiliation: Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


Reinforcement Learning for Hyperparameter Tuning in Deep Learning-based Side-channel Analysis
Deep learning represents a powerful set of techniques for profiling side-channel analysis. The results in the last few years show that neural network architectures like multilayer perceptron and convolutional neural networks give strong attack performance where it is possible to break targets protected with various countermeasures. Considering that deep learning techniques commonly have a plethora of hyperparameters to tune, it is clear that such top attack results can come with a high price in preparing the attack. This is especially problematic as the side-channel community commonly uses random search or grid search techniques to look for the best hyperparameters. In this paper, we propose to use reinforcement learning to tune the convolutional neural network hyperparameters. In our framework, we investigate the Q-Learning paradigm and develop two reward functions that use side-channel metrics. We mount an investigation on three commonly used datasets and two leakage models where the results show that reinforcement learning can find convolutional neural networks exhibiting top performance while having small numbers of trainable parameters. We note that our approach is automated and can be easily adapted to different datasets. Finally, several of our newly developed architectures outperform the current state-of-the-art results.
Remove Some Noise: On Pre-processing of Side-channel Measurements with Autoencoders 📺
Lichao Wu Stjepan Picek
In the profiled side-channel analysis, deep learning-based techniques proved to be very successful even when attacking targets protected with countermeasures. Still, there is no guarantee that deep learning attacks will always succeed. Various countermeasures make attacks significantly more complex, and such countermeasures can be further combined to make the attacks even more challenging. An intuitive solution to improve the performance of attacks would be to reduce the effect of countermeasures.This paper investigates whether we can consider certain types of hiding countermeasures as noise and then use a deep learning technique called the denoising autoencoder to remove that noise. We conduct a detailed analysis of six different types of noise and countermeasures separately or combined and show that denoising autoencoder improves the attack performance significantly.