Applying Thermal Side-Channel Attacks on Asymmetric Cryptography

Abdullah Aljuffri, Marc Zwalua, Cezar Rodolfo Wedig Reinbrecht, Said Hamdioui, Mottaqiallah Taouil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
274 Downloads (Pure)


Side-channel attacks (SCAs) are powerful attacks that could be used to retrieve keys from electronic devices. Several physical leakage sources can be exploited in SCAs, such as power, time, heat, and so on. Heat is one of the side-channels that is not frequently analyzed by attackers in the literature due to the high noise associated with thermal traces. This article investigates the practicality of adapting power-based SCAs [i.e., correlation power analysis (CPA) and deep-learning-based power attacks (DL-based PA)] for thermal attacks and refer to them as correlation thermal attack (CTA) and DL-based thermal attack (DL-based TA). In addition, we introduce a new attack called progressive CTA (PCTA). We evaluate the different thermal SCAs against an unprotected and protected software implementation of Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA). Our results show the practicality of the three attacks (i.e. CTA, DL-based TA, and PCTA) as a 100% key recovery is realized.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9540756
Pages (from-to)1930 - 1942
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Power attack
  • progressive correlation
  • Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA)
  • side-channel attack (SCA)
  • thermal attack


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