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Randomised multi-modulo residue number system architecture for double-and-add to prevent power analysis side channel attacks

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4 Author(s)
Ambrose, J.A. ; Sch. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia ; Pettenghi, H. ; Jayasinghe, D. ; Sousa, L.

Security in embedded systems is of critical importance since most of our secure transactions are currently made via credit cards or mobile phones. Power analysis-based side channel attacks have been proved as the most successful attacks on embedded systems to retrieve secret keys, allowing impersonation and theft. State-of-the-art solutions for such attacks on public key cryptographic algorithms, such as elliptic curve cryptography, mostly in software, hinder performance and repeatedly attacked using improved techniques. To protect these public key ciphers from both simple power analysis and differential power analysis, as a hardware solution, we propose to take advantage of the inherent parallelisation capability in multi-modulo residue number systems (RNS) architectures to obfuscate the secure information. Random selection of moduli is proposed to randomly choose the moduli sets for each key bit operation. This solution allows us to prevent power analysis, although still providing all the benefits of RNS. In this study, the authors show that differential power analysis, cross correlation analysis and correlation power analysis for a simple binary double-and-add operation are thwarted using their solution.

Published in:

Circuits, Devices & Systems, IET  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 5 )