Who Watches the Watchers: Attacking Glitch Detection Circuits


  • Amund Askeland University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Nasjonal Sikkerhetsmyndighet, Oslo, Norway
  • Svetla Nikova University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; COSIC, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Ventzislav Nikov NXP Semiconductors, Leuven, Belgium




fault analysis, glitch detectors, clock glitching attacks


Over the last decades, fault injection attacks have been demonstrated to be an effective method for breaking the security of electronic devices. Some types of fault injection attacks, like clock and voltage glitching, require very few resources by the attacker and are practical and simple to execute. A cost-effective countermeasure against these attacks is the use of a detector circuit which detects timing violations - the underlying effect that glitch attacks rely on. In this paper, we take a closer look at three examples of such detectors that have been presented in the literature. We demonstrate four high-speed clock glitching attacks, which successfully inject faults in systems, where detectors have been implemented to protect. The attacks remain unnoticed by the glitch detectors. We verify our attacks with practical experiments on FPGA.






How to Cite

Who Watches the Watchers: Attacking Glitch Detection Circuits. (2023). IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems, 2024(1), 157-179. https://doi.org/10.46586/tches.v2024.i1.157-179