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Hardware Designer's Guide to Fault Attacks

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3 Author(s)
Karaklajic, D. ; KU Leuven, Leuven-Heverlee, Belgium ; Schmidt, J.-M. ; Verbauwhede, I.

Hardware designers invest a significant design effort when implementing computationally intensive cryptographic algorithms onto constrained embedded devices to match the computational demands of the algorithms with the stringent area, power, and energy budgets of the platforms. When it comes to designs that are employed in potential hostile environments, another challenge arises-the design has to be resistant against attacks based on the physical properties of the implementation, the so-called implementation attacks. This creates an extra design concern for a hardware designer. This paper gives an insight into the field of fault attacks and countermeasures to help the designer to protect the design against this type of implementation attacks. We analyze fault attacks from different aspects and expose the mechanisms they employ to reveal a secret parameter of a device. In addition, we classify the existing countermeasures and discuss their effectiveness and efficiency. The result of this paper is a guide for selecting a set of countermeasures, which provides a sufficient security level to meet the constraints of the embedded devices.

Published in:

Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 12 )