Horizontal and Vertical Side Channel Analysis of a McEliece Cryptosystem

Cong Chen, Thomas Eisenbarth, Rainer Steinwandt, Ingo Von Maurich


This paper presents horizontal and vertical side channel analysis techniques for an implementation of the McEliece cryptosystem. The target of this side-channel attack is a state-of-the-art field-programmable gate array (FPGA) implementation of the efficient quasi-cyclic moderate-density parity-check McEliece decryption operation, as presented at Design, Automation and Test in Europe (DATE) 2014. The presented cryptanalysis succeeds to recover the complete secret key after a few observed decryptions. It consists of a combination of a differential leakage analysis during the syndrome computation followed by an algebraic step that exploits the relation between the public key and the private key.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1093-1105
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 06.2016


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