Security Analysis of the SPA-Resistant Fractional Width Method

Katsuyuki OKEYA  Tsuyoshi TAKAGI  Camille VUILLAUME  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E89-A   No.1   pp.161-168
Publication Date: 2006/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1093/ietfec/e89-a.1.161
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Cryptography and Information Security)
Category: Elliptic Curve Cryptography
Keyword: 
elliptic curve cryptosystems,  smartcard,  fractional window,  side channel attacks,  flexibility,  discrete logarithm problem,  

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Summary: 
Elliptic curves offer interesting possibilities for alternative cryptosystems, especially in constrained environments like smartcards. However, cryptographic routines running on such lightweight devices can be attacked with the help of "side channel information"; power consumption, for instance. Elliptic curve cryptosystems are not an exception: if no precaution is taken, power traces can help attackers to reveal secret information stored in tamper-resistant devices. Okeya-Takagi scheme (OT scheme) is an efficient countermeasure against such attacks on elliptic curve cryptosystems, which has the unique feature to allow any size for the pre-computed table: depending on how much memory is available, users can flexibly change the table size to fit their needs. Since the nature of OT scheme is different from other side-channel attack countermeasures, it is necessary to deeply investigate its security. In this paper, we present a comprehensive security analysis of OT scheme, and show that based on information leaked by power consumption traces, attackers can slightly enhance standard attacks. Then, we explain how to prevent such information leakage with simple and efficient modifications.