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Method for obscuring cryptographic computations through randomized power-management transitions to complicate DPA

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000078522D
Publication Date: 2005-Feb-26
Document File: 6 page(s) / 375K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for obscuring cryptographic computations through randomized power-management transitions to complicate differential power analysis (DPA). Benefits include improved functionality, improved performance, and improved security.

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Method for obscuring cryptographic computations through randomized power-management transitions to complicate DPA

Disclosed is a method for obscuring cryptographic computations through randomized power-management transitions to complicate differential power analysis (DPA). Benefits include improved functionality, improved performance, and improved security.

Background

              Conventionally, systems with arrays of disks provide some basic fault-tolerance due to sparing and parity generation, but they do not afford confidentiality of the stored data.

              Protected execution, such as that afforded by the microprocessor ring model, only affords protection of the keying material from other software. Systems remain vulnerable to analysis of the system power.

              System security algorithms are well-known and vetted. The key used in execution of the algorithm is zealously guarded. Cryptographic hardware provides domain isolation so that some software can shroud the keying material from other software. However, an external observer of the system can monitor other measurement points, such as system power dissipation. By monitoring the power dissipation of a system and based upon an assumption of the cryptographic algorithm that is executing, the attacker can correlate the power deviations to a particular key value used in the computation.

Description

              The disclosed method obscures cryptographic computations through randomized power-management transitions to complicate DPA for a standards-based storage system that provides data confidentiality. The method enables the storage controller subsystem to dither the power dissipation of the associated disk drives, chipset, and host CPU complex in order to thwart power analysis attacks. The method enables the statistical evaluation of power profiles. A value of zero implies that the two power profiles are uncorrelated (see Fi...