University of Twente Student Theses


Developing a Platform to Emulate Fault Injection Attacks on Cryptographic Implementations

Ploeg, E.M. van der (2020) Developing a Platform to Emulate Fault Injection Attacks on Cryptographic Implementations.

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Abstract:Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are used more and more in security-critical applications. With this development comes increased attention from both benevolent and malevolent actors, interested in tampering with the security of these cryptographic implementations. These actors take interest in the possibilities of cracking the security of these applications. When an encryption algorithm is implemented in hardware, there is a possibility of a Fault Injection Attack (FIA). Through these attacks, faulty ciphertexts that contain information on the cryptosystem’s secret key can be obtained. Through Differential Fault Analysis (DFA), the secret key can be derived. This work aims to develop a platform to help designers of cryptographic implementations on FPGAs test their design against FIAs. By reconfiguring an FPGA with a modified configuration file, a FIA can be emulated. The configuration file (bitstream) has to be altered to make this possible. The EDA toolkit DAVOS, originally aimed at reliability analysis of FPGA implementations, is re-purposed for this particular purpose, as it has the FPGA re-programming functionality required for this purpose. Successful FIA emulations, with extraction of the cryptosystem’s secret key, are demonstrated. DAVOS still needs to be optimized to be used effectively as an FIA emulator, thus suggestions are made to improve its use for this purpose.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:53 electrotechnology, 54 computer science
Programme:Electrical Engineering BSc (56953)
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