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Photonic side channel attacks against RSA

: Carmon, E.; Seifert, J.P.; Wool, A.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; IEEE Computer Society; IEEE Computer Society, Test Technology Technical Council -TTTC-; IEEE Computer Society, Technical Committee on Security and Privacy:
IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust, HOST 2017. Proceedings : 1-5 May 2017, The Ritz-Carlton, McLean, VA, USA
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5386-3929-0
ISBN: 978-1-5386-3928-3
ISBN: 978-1-5386-3930-6
International Symposium on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust (HOST) <10, 2017, McLean/Va.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer SIT ()

This paper describes the first attack utilizing the photonic side channel against a public-key crypto-system. We evaluated three common implementations of RSA modular exponentiation, all using the Karatsuba multiplication method. We discovered that the key length had marginal impact on resilience to the attack: attacking a 2048-bit key required only 9% more decryption attempts than a 1024-bit key. We found that the most dominant parameter impacting the attacker's effort is the minimal block size at which the Karatsuba method reverts to naive multiplication: even for parameter values as low as 32 or 64 bits our attacks achieve 100% success rate with under 10,000 decryption operations. Somewhat surprisingly, we discovered that Montgomery's Ladder-commonly perceived as the most resilient of the three implementations to side-channel attacks-was actually the most susceptible: for 2048-bit keys, our attack reveals 100% of the secret key bits with as few as 4000 decryptions.