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While no single countermeasure can effectively secure a system against all threats, a layered approach that includes resistance against SPA and DPA attacks should be integrated into critical electronic systems. Perhaps most importantly, the Pueblo crew utilized four cryptographic systems, associated keying materials, maintenance manuals, operating instructions and the general communications-security publications required to support a cryptographic operation. Nevertheless, the threat of total mission compromise remains a clear and present danger, especially in close proximity to hostile territory. Smaller Cooperative Security Locations (CSLs) – aka “lily pads” – face similar logistical difficulties as well.USS Pueblo The USS Pueblo (AGER-2) was attacked, captured and boarded by North Korean forces in January 1968. Mobley of the CIA confirms, Pueblo was equipped with the latest and most sophisticated signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection equipment then in the U. inventory, with a capability to intercept and record North Korean voice and other communications – particularly in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) and very-high frequency (VHF) spectrums. According to a now declassified NSA document, the crypto machines and manuals the North Koreans seized from the Pueblo and passed on to the Soviet Union were identical to those heavily in use by U. Indeed, equipment deployed at forward operating bases (FOBs) is particularly vulnerable. In addition, CSL personnel may be instructed to follow strict security protocols that effectively limit both incoming and outgoing communications.These powerful, non-invasive attacks can be exploited by hostile elements to allow the unauthorized extraction of secret cryptographic keys, potentially revealing classified data.To be sure, most tamper-resistant devices and cryptographic algorithms are susceptible to such attacks if they do not include countermeasures.Without countermeasures, sensitive electronic equipment can be cracked in a matter of hours.Even if a power supply is inaccessible, properly trained hostile forces are capable of exploiting DPA attacks against the electromagnetic emissions of a device, system or platform.
Evaluating side-channel vulnerability In addition to offering a full suite of DPA countermeasures, Rambus has designed a DPA Workstation (DPAWS) that evaluates resistance to a variety of side-channel attacks (SPA, DPA, HO-DPA and EMA) across a wide number of devices and platforms.
The basic method involves partitioning a set of traces into subsets, then subsequently computing the difference of the averages of these subsets. Fritzke notes, the transfer of information has always been an integral part of military operations. Although AES remains “computationally infeasible” for attackers to break an encrypted message stream, it is nonetheless susceptible to DPA.
Given enough traces, extremely minute correlations can be isolated — no matter how much noise is present in the measurements. Message encryption seeks to prevent all but the sender and recipient from viewing any encrypted data – although the secret key must remain hidden. Therefore, says Fritzke, DPA countermeasures are absolutely “crucial” to maintaining effective data security.
Additional DPA variants include reverse engineering unknown S-boxes and algorithms, correlation power analysis (CPA), probability distribution analysis, high-order DPA, and template attacks. Such countermeasures include decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio of the power side channel by reducing leakage (signal) or increasing noise, for example, by making the amount of power consumed less contingent upon data values and/or operation (balancing); introducing amplitude and temporal noise; incorporating randomness with blinding and masking by randomly altering the representation of secret parameters and implementing protocol-level countermeasures by continually refreshing and updating cryptographic protocols used by a device.
It should be noted that Rambus has licensed a wide range of DPA countermeasures to a number of prominent corporations, such as Boeing, NAGRA, The Athena Group, Winbond, and Idaho Scientific.