Scan-Based Attack on AES through Round Registers and Its Countermeasure

Youhua SHI

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E95-A    No.12    pp.2338-2346
Publication Date: 2012/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1587/transfun.E95.A.2338
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on VLSI Design and CAD Algorithms)
Category: High-Level Synthesis and System-Level Design
scan-based side channel attack,  crypto implementation,  security,  testability,  

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Scan-based side channel attack on hardware implementations of cryptographic algorithms has shown its great security threat. Unlike existing scan-based attacks, in our work we observed that instead of the secret-related-registers, some non-secret registers also carry the potential of being misused to help a hacker to retrieve secret keys. In this paper, we first present a scan-based side channel attack method on AES by making use of the round counter registers, which are not paid attention to in previous works, to show the potential security threat in designs with scan chains. And then we discussed the issues of secure DFT requirements and proposed a secure scan scheme to preserve all the advantages and simplicities of traditional scan test, while significantly improve the security with ignorable design overhead, for crypto hardware implementations.