StaTI: Protecting against Fault Attacks Using Stable Threshold Implementations


  • Siemen Dhooghe COSIC, ESAT, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Artemii Ovchinnikov COSIC, ESAT, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Dilara Toprakhisar COSIC, ESAT, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium



Encoding, Fault Attacks, Masking, Side-Channel Analysis


Fault attacks impose a serious threat against the practical implementations of cryptographic algorithms. Statistical Ineffective Fault Attacks (SIFA), exploiting the dependency between the secret data and the fault propagation overcame many of the known countermeasures. Later, several countermeasures have been proposed to tackle this attack using error detection methods. However, the efficiency of the countermeasures, in part governed by the number of error checks, still remains a challenge.
In this work, we propose a fault countermeasure, StaTI, based on threshold implementations and linear encoding techniques. The proposed countermeasure protects the implementations of cryptographic algorithms against both side-channel and fault adversaries in a non-combined attack setting. We present a new composable notion, stability, to protect a threshold implementation against a formal gate/register-faulting adversary. Stability ensures fault propagation, making a single error check of the output suffice. To illustrate the stability notion, first, we provide stable encodings of the XOR and AND gates. Then, we present techniques to encode threshold implementations of S-boxes, and provide stable encodings of some quadratic S-boxes together with their security and performance evaluation. Additionally, we propose general encoding techniques to transform a threshold implementation of any function (e.g., non-injective functions) to a stable one. We then provide an encoding technique to use in symmetric primitives which encodes state elements together significantly reducing the encoded state size. Finally, we used StaTI to implement a secure Keccak on FPGA and report on its efficiency.




How to Cite

Dhooghe, S., Ovchinnikov, A., & Toprakhisar, D. (2023). StaTI: Protecting against Fault Attacks Using Stable Threshold Implementations. IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems, 2024(1), 229–263.