Improved Side-Channel Analysis Attacks on Xilinx Bitstream Encryption of 5, 6, and 7 Series

Amir Moradi, Tobias Schneider

7th In­ter­na­tio­nal Work­shop on Con­struc­tive Si­de-Chan­nel Ana­ly­sis and Se­cu­re De­sign, CO­SA­DE 2016, Gray, Aus­tria, April 14-15, 2016


Since 2012, it is publicly known that the bitstream encryption feature of modern Xilinx FPGAs can be broken by side-channel analysis. Presented at CT-RSA 2012, using graphics processing units (GPUs) the authors demonstrated power analysis attacks mounted on side-channel evaluation boards optimized for power measurements. In this work, we extend such attacks by moving to the EM side channel to examine their practical relevance in real-world scenarios. Furthermore, by following a certain measurement procedure we reduce the search space of each part of the attack from 2^{32} to 2^8, which allows mounting the attacks on ordinary workstations. Several Xilinx FPGAs from different families - including the 7 series devices - are susceptible to the attacks presented here.

[pdf] [DOI]

Tags: EM side-channel attacks, Implementation attacks, Real-World Attacks