A new CPA resistant software implementation for symmetric ciphers with smoothed power consumption: SIMON case study



1 Sharif University of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering, Tehran, Iran

2 Sharif University of Technology, Electronics Research Institute, Iran, Tehran


In this paper we propose a new method for applying hiding countermeasure against CPA attacks. This method is for software implementation, based on smoothing power consumption of the device. This method is evaluated on the SIMON scheme as a case study; however, it is not relying on any specific SIMON features. Our new method includes only AND equivalent and XOR equivalent operations since every cryptographic algorithm can be implemented with two basic operations, namely AND and XOR. Therefore, hamming weight and hamming distance take constant values at each moment of time. This can decrease data-dependency between processed values and consumed power. In order to practically evaluate the resulting implementation overheads and the resistance improvement against CPA, we implement the proposed coding scheme on SIMON, a lightweight block cipher, on a smart card with the ATmega163 microprocessor. We define resistance as the number of traces, which for less than that number; the correct key cannot be distinguished from all other hypothetical keys by its correlation coefficient in any moment of time. The results of this implementation show 350 times more immunity against correlation attacks.


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