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Examining smart-card security under the threat of power analysis attacks

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3 Author(s)
T. S. Messerges ; Motorola Labs., Motorola Inc., Schaumburg, IL, USA ; E. A. Dabbish ; R. H. Sloan

This paper examines how monitoring power consumption signals might breach smart-card security. Both simple power analysis and differential power analysis attacks are investigated. The theory behind these attacks is reviewed. Then, we concentrate on showing how power analysis theory can be applied to attack an actual smart card. We examine the noise characteristics of the power signals and develop an approach to model the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). We show how this SNR can be significantly improved using a multiple-bit attack. Experimental results against a smart-card implementation of the Data Encryption Standard demonstrate the effectiveness of our multiple-bit attack. Potential countermeasures to these attacks are also discussed

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Computers  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 5 )