Differential Power Analysis of a McEliece Cryptosystem

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

13th International Conference on Applied Cryptography and Network Security (ACNS), New York, USA, 2–5 June 2015.


This work presents the first differential power analysis of an implementation of the McEliece cryptosystem. Target of this side-channel attack is a state-of-the-art FPGA implementation of the efficient QC-MDPC McEliece decryption operation as presented at 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 and private key.

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