A scan-based attack based on discriminators for AES cryptosystems

Ryuta Nara, Nozomu Togawa, Masao Yanagisawa, Tatsuo Ohtsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


A scan chain is one of the most important testing techniques, but it can be used as side-channel attacks against a cryptography LSI. We focus on scan-based attacks, in which scan chains are targeted for side-channel attacks. The conventional scan-based attacks only consider the scan chain composed of only the registers in a cryptography circuit. However, a cryptography LSI usually uses many circuits such as memories, micro processors and other circuits. This means that the conventional attacks cannot be applied to the practical scan chain composed of various types of registers. In this paper, a scan-based attack which enables to decipher the secret key in an AES cryptography LSI composed of an AES circuit and other circuits is proposed. By focusing on bit pattern of the specific register and monitoring its change, our scan-based attack eliminates the influence of registers included in other circuits than AES. Our attack does not depend on scan chain architecture, and it can decipher practical AES cryptography LSIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3229-3237
Number of pages9
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec


  • AES
  • Cryptography
  • Scan chain
  • Scan-based attack
  • Security
  • Side-channel attack
  • Testability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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