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Template Attacks, Optimal Distinguishers and the Perceived Information Metric

Abstract : Side-channel analysis is long known as a real threat on unprotected and even protected devices. While template attacks are admittedly the most powerful ones, most practical attacks are of a different kind, such as Kocher’s difference of mean or correlation power analysis. It is the imprecision of the a priori leakage model that accounts for the discrepancy between theory and practice. A closer look into the math- ematical expression of template attacks reveals conditions under which practical distinguishers may approach optimality. A metric aiming at quantifying the amount of leakage in an information-theoretic con- text has been recently put forward as the perceived information. We show that this metric also corresponds to the likelihood computed by a template attack using an imperfect model. We thus consolidate the published literature about optimal (template) attacks and optimal distinguishers by clarifying the state-of-the-art about the strongest side-channel adversarial strategies, with emphasis on the importance of the initial knowledge of the system under attack, which is typically accessed through profiling.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 13, 2019 - 4:40:34 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:16:43 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02287176, version 1


Sylvain Guilley, Annelie Heuser, Olivier Rioul, François-Xavier Standaert. Template Attacks, Optimal Distinguishers and the Perceived Information Metric. 13th International Workshop on Cryptographic Architectures Embedded in Reconfigurable Devices (CryptArchi 2015), Jun 2015, Leuven, Belgium. ⟨hal-02287176⟩



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