International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Peter Pessl

Affiliation: Graz University of Technology


Fault Attacks on CCA-secure Lattice KEMs
Peter Pessl Lukas Prokop
NIST’s post-quantum standardization effort very recently entered its final round. This makes studying the implementation-security aspect of the remaining candidates an increasingly important task, as such analyses can aid in the final selection process and enable appropriately secure wider deployment after standardization. However, lattice-based key-encapsulation mechanisms (KEMs), which are prominently represented among the finalists, have thus far received little attention when it comes to fault attacks.Interestingly, many of these KEMs exhibit structural similarities. They can be seen as variants of the encryption scheme of Lyubashevsky, Peikert, and Rosen, and employ the Fujisaki-Okamoto transform (FO) to achieve CCA2 security. The latter involves re-encrypting a decrypted plaintext and testing the ciphertexts for equivalence. This corresponds to the classic countermeasure of computing the inverse operation and hence prevents many fault attacks.In this work, we show that despite this inherent protection, practical fault attacks are still possible. We present an attack that requires a single instruction-skipping fault in the decoding process, which is run as part of the decapsulation. After observing if this fault actually changed the outcome (effective fault) or if the correct result is still returned (ineffective fault), we can set up a linear inequality involving the key coefficients. After gathering enough of these inequalities by faulting many decapsulations, we can solve for the key using a bespoke statistical solving approach. As our attack only requires distinguishing effective from ineffective faults, various detection-based countermeasures, including many forms of double execution, can be bypassed.We apply this attack to Kyber and NewHope, both of which belong to the aforementioned class of schemes. Using fault simulations, we show that, e.g., 6,500 faulty decapsulations are required for full key recovery on Kyber512. To demonstrate practicality, we use clock glitches to attack Kyber running on a Cortex M4. As we argue that other schemes of this class, such as Saber, might also be susceptible, the presented attack clearly shows that one cannot rely on the FO transform’s fault deterrence and that proper countermeasures are still needed.
Single-Trace Attacks on Keccak 📺
Since its selection as the winner of the SHA-3 competition, Keccak, with all its variants, has found a large number of applications. It is, for instance, a common building block in schemes submitted to NIST’s post-quantum cryptography project. In many of these applications, Keccak processes ephemeral secrets. In such a setting, side-channel adversaries are limited to a single observation, meaning that differential attacks are inherently prevented. If, however, such a single trace of Keccak can already be sufficient for key recovery has so far been unknown. In this paper, we change the above by presenting the first single-trace attack targeting Keccak. Our method is based on soft-analytical side-channel attacks and, thus, combines template matching with message passing in a graphical model of the attacked algorithm. As a straight-forward model of Keccak does not yield satisfactory results, we describe several optimizations for the modeling and the message-passing algorithm. Their combination allows attaining high attack performance in terms of both success rate as well as computational runtime. We evaluate our attack assuming generic software (microcontroller) targets and thus use simulations in the generic noisy Hamming-weight leakage model. Hence, we assume relatively modest profiling capabilities of the adversary. Nonetheless, the attack can reliably recover secrets in a large number of evaluated scenarios at realistic noise levels. Consequently, we demonstrate the need for countermeasures even in settings where DPA is not a threat.
Differential Fault Attacks on Deterministic Lattice Signatures
In this paper, we extend the applicability of differential fault attacks to lattice-based cryptography. We show how two deterministic lattice-based signature schemes, Dilithium and qTESLA, are vulnerable to such attacks. In particular, we demonstrate that single random faults can result in a nonce-reuse scenario which allows key recovery. We also expand this to fault-induced partial nonce-reuse attacks, which do not corrupt the validity of the computed signatures and thus are harder to detect.Using linear algebra and lattice-basis reduction techniques, an attacker can extract one of the secret key elements after a successful fault injection. Some other parts of the key cannot be recovered, but we show that a tweaked signature algorithm can still successfully sign any message. We provide experimental verification of our attacks by performing clock glitching on an ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller. In particular, we show that up to 65.2% of the execution time of Dilithium is vulnerable to an unprofiled attack, where a random fault is injected anywhere during the signing procedure and still leads to a successful key-recovery.
Single-Trace Side-Channel Attacks on Masked Lattice-Based Encryption
Although lattice-based cryptography has proven to be a particularly efficient approach to post-quantum cryptography, its security against side-channel attacks is still a very open topic. There already exist some first works that use masking to achieve DPA security. However, for public-key primitives SPA attacks that use just a single trace are also highly relevant. For lattice-based cryptography this implementation-security aspect is still unexplored.In this work, we present the first single-trace attack on lattice-based encryption. As only a single side-channel observation is needed for full key recovery, it can also be used to attack masked implementations. We use leakage coming from the Number Theoretic Transform, which is at the heart of almost all efficient lattice-based implementations. This means that our attack can be adapted to a large range of other lattice-based constructions and their respective implementations.Our attack consists of 3 main steps. First, we perform a template matching on all modular operations in the decryption process. Second, we efficiently combine all this side-channel information using belief propagation. And third, we perform a lattice-decoding to recover the private key. We show that the attack allows full key recovery not only in a generic noisy Hamming-weight setting, but also based on real traces measured on an ARM Cortex-M4F microcontroller.

Program Committees

CHES 2020
CHES 2019