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Journal Articles IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems Year : 2022

Don’t Learn What You Already Know


Over the past few years, deep-learning-based attacks have emerged as a de facto standard, thanks to their ability to break implementations of cryptographic primitives without pre-processing, even against widely used counter-measures such as hiding and masking. However, the recent works of Bronchain and Standaert at Tches 2020 questioned the soundness of such tools if used in an uninformed setting to evaluate implementations protected with higher-order masking. On the opposite, worst-case evaluations may be seen as possibly far from what a real-world adversary could do, thereby leading to too conservative security bounds. In this paper, we propose a new threat model that we name scheme-aware benefiting from a trade-off between uninformed and worst-case models. Our scheme-aware model is closer to a real-world adversary, in the sense that it does not need to have access to the random nonces used by masking during the profiling phase like in a worst-case model, while it does not need to learn the masking scheme as implicitly done by an uninformed adversary. We show how to combine the power of deep learning with the prior knowledge of scheme-aware modeling. As a result, we show on simulations and experiments on public datasets how it sometimes allows to reduce by an order of magnitude the profiling complexity, i.e., the number of profiling traces needed to satisfyingly train a model, compared to a fully uninformed adversary.
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lirmm-04248365 , version 1 (18-10-2023)



Loïc Masure, Valence Cristiani, Maxime Lecomte, François-Xavier Standaert. Don’t Learn What You Already Know: Scheme-Aware Modeling for Profiling Side-Channel Analysis against Masking. IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems, 2022, pp.32-59. ⟨10.46586/tches.v2023.i1.32-59⟩. ⟨lirmm-04248365⟩
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