Lightweight Cryptography and DPA Countermeasures: A Survey

Amir Moradi, Axel Poschmann

First International Workshop on Lightweight Cryptography for Resource-Constrained Devices, WLC 2010 (co-located with Financial Cryptography and Data Security - FC 2010), Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, Januar 25-28, 2010.


The dawning Ubiquitous Computing age demands a new attacker model for the myriads of pervasive computing devices used: since a potentially malicious user is in full control over the pervasive device, additionally to the cryptographic attacks the whole field of physical attacks has to be considered. Most notably are here so-called side channel attacks, such as Differential Power Analysis (DPA) attacks. At the same time, the deployment of pervasive devices is strongly cost-driven, which prohibits expensive countermeasures. In this article we survey a broad range of countermeasures and discuss their suitability for ultraconstrained devices, such as passive RFID-tags. We conclude that adiabatic logic countermeasures, such as 2N-2N2P and SAL, seem to be promising candidates, because they increase the resistance against DPA attacks while at the same time lowering the power consumption of the pervasive device.


tags: cryptography