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Towards efficient evaluation of a time-driven cache attack on modern processors

: Zankl, A.; Miller, K.; Heyszl, J.; Sigl, G.


Askoxylakis, Ioannis:
Computer security - ESORICS 2016. 21st European Symposium on Research in Computer Security. Pt.2 : Heraklion, Greece, September 26-30, 2016; Proceedings
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 9879)
ISBN: 978-3-319-45740-6 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-319-45741-3 (Online)
European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS) <21, 2016, Heraklion>
Fraunhofer AISEC ()

Software implementations of block ciphers are widely used to perform critical operations such as disk encryption or TLS traffic protection. To speed up cipher execution, many implementations rely on pre-computed lookup tables, which makes them vulnerable to cache-timing attacks on modern processors. For time-driven attacks, the overall execution time of a cipher is sufficient to recover the secret key. Testing cryptographic software on actual hardware is consequently essential for vulnerability and risk assessment. In this work, we investigate the efficient and robust evaluation of cryptographic software on modern processors under a time-driven attack. Using a practical case study, we discuss necessary adaptations to the original attack and identify promising new micro-architectural side-channels for it. To leverage the leakage of multiple side-channels, we propose a simple, heuristic way to combine their corresponding attacks.