International Association for Cryptologic Research

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Who Watches the Watchers: Attacking Glitch Detection Circuits

Authors:
Amund Askeland , University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Nasjonal Sikkerhetsmyndighet, Oslo, Norway
Svetla Nikova , University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; COSIC, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Ventzislav Nikov , NXP Semiconductors, Leuven, Belgium
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DOI: 10.46586/tches.v2024.i1.157-179
URL: https://tches.iacr.org/index.php/TCHES/article/view/11249
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Abstract: Over the last decades, fault injection attacks have been demonstrated to be an effective method for breaking the security of electronic devices. Some types of fault injection attacks, like clock and voltage glitching, require very few resources by the attacker and are practical and simple to execute. A cost-effective countermeasure against these attacks is the use of a detector circuit which detects timing violations - the underlying effect that glitch attacks rely on. In this paper, we take a closer look at three examples of such detectors that have been presented in the literature. We demonstrate four high-speed clock glitching attacks, which successfully inject faults in systems, where detectors have been implemented to protect. The attacks remain unnoticed by the glitch detectors. We verify our attacks with practical experiments on FPGA.
BibTeX
@article{tches-2023-33665,
  title={Who Watches the Watchers: Attacking Glitch Detection Circuits},
  journal={IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems},
  publisher={Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum},
  volume={024 No. 1},
  pages={157-179},
  url={https://tches.iacr.org/index.php/TCHES/article/view/11249},
  doi={10.46586/tches.v2024.i1.157-179},
  author={Amund Askeland and Svetla Nikova and Ventzislav Nikov},
  year=2023
}