Theses and Dissertations

Circuit-Variant Moving Target Defense for Side-Channel Attacks on Reconfigurable Hardware

Date of Award


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Committee Chair

Todd R. Andel, Ph.D.


With the emergence of side-channel analysis (SCA) attacks, bits of a secret key may be derived by correlating key values with physical properties of cryptographic process execution. Power and Electromagnetic (EM) analysis attacks are based on the principle that current flow within a cryptographic device is key-dependent and therefore, the resulting power consumption and EM emanations during encryption and/or decryption can be correlated to secret key values. These side-channel attacks require several measurements of the target process in order to amplify the signal of interest, filter out noise, and derive the secret key through statistical analysis methods. Differential power and EM analysis attacks rely on correlating actual side-channel measurements to hypothetical models. This research proposes increasing resistance to differential power and EM analysis attacks through structural and spatial randomization of an implementation. By introducing randomly located circuit variants of encryption components, the proposed moving target defense aims to disrupt side-channel collection and correlation needed to successfully implement an attack

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