Journal article Open Access

Symbolic Analysis of Higher-Order Side Channel Countermeasures

Elia Bisi; Filippo Melzani; Vittorio Zaccaria

In this paper, we deal with the problem of efficiently assessing the higher order vulnerability of a hardware cryptographic circuit. Our main concern is to provide methods that allow a circuit designer to detect early in the design cycle if the implementation of a Boolean-additive masking countermeasure does not hold up to the required protection order. To achieve this goal, we promote the search for vulnerabilities from a statistical problem to a purely symbolical one and then provide a method for reasoning about this new symbolical interpretation. Eventually we show, with a synthetic example, how the proposed conceptual tool can be used for exploring the vulnerability space of a cryptographic primitive.

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