International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Wei Cheng


Information Leakages in Code-based Masking: A Unified Quantification Approach 📺
This paper presents a unified approach to quantifying the information leakages in the most general code-based masking schemes. Specifically, by utilizing a uniform representation, we highlight first that all code-based masking schemes’ side-channel resistance can be quantified by an all-in-one framework consisting of two easy-tocompute parameters (the dual distance and the number of conditioned codewords) from a coding-theoretic perspective. In particular, we use signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and mutual information (MI) as two complementary metrics, where a closed-form expression of SNR and an approximation of MI are proposed by connecting both metrics to the two coding-theoretic parameters. Secondly, considering the connection between Reed-Solomon code and SSS (Shamir’s Secret Sharing) scheme, the SSS-based masking is viewed as a particular case of generalized code-based masking. Hence as a straightforward application, we evaluate the impact of public points on the side-channel security of SSS-based masking schemes, namely the polynomial masking, and enhance the SSS-based masking by choosing optimal public points for it. Interestingly, we show that given a specific security order, more shares in SSS-based masking leak more information on secrets in an information-theoretic sense. Finally, our approach provides a systematic method for optimizing the side-channel resistance of every code-based masking. More precisely, this approach enables us to select optimal linear codes (parameters) for the generalized code-based masking by choosing appropriate codes according to the two coding-theoretic parameters. Summing up, we provide a best-practice guideline for the application of code-based masking to protect cryptographic implementations.
Revealing the Weakness of Addition Chain Based Masked SBox Implementations 📺
Addition chain is a well-known approach for implementing higher-order masked SBoxes. However, this approach induces more computations of intermediate monomials over F2n, which in turn leak more information related to the sensitive variables and may decrease its side-channel resistance consequently. In this paper, we introduce a new notion named polygon degree to measure the resistance of monomial computations. With the help of this notion, we select several typical addition chain implementations with the strongest or the weakest resistance. In practical experiments based on an ARM Cortex-M4 architecture, we collect power and electromagnetic traces in consideration of different noise levels. The results show that the resistance of the weakest masked SBox implementation is close to that of an unprotected implementation, while the strongest one can also be broken with fewer than 1,500 traces due to extra leakages. Moreover, we study the resistance of addition chain implementations against profiled attacks. We find that some monomials with smaller output size leak more information than the SBox output. The work by Duc et al. at JOC 2019 showed that for a balanced function, the smaller the output size is, the less information is leaked. Thus, our attacks demonstrate that this property of balanced functions does not apply to unbalanced functions.