Scan-based attack against DES and Triple DES cryptosystems using scan signatures

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2 Citations (Scopus)


A scan-path test is one of the useful design-for-test techniques, in which testers can observe and control registers inside the target LSI chip directly. On the other hand, the risk of side-channel attacks against cryptographic LSIs and modules has been pointed out. In particular, scan-based attacks which retrieve secret keys by analyzing scan data obtained from scan chains have been attracting attention. In this paper, we propose two scan-based attack methods against DES and Triple DES using scan signatures. Our proposed methods are based on focusing on particular bit-column-data in a set of scan data and observing their changes when giving several plaintexts. Based on this property, we introduce the idea of a scan signature first and apply it to DES cryptosystems. In DES cryptosystems, we can retrieve secret keys by partitioning the S-BOX process into eight independent sub-processes and reducing the number of the round key candidates from 248 to 26 × 8 = 512. In Triple DES cryptosystems, three secret keys are used to encrypt plaintexts. Then we retrieve them one by one, using the similar technique as in DES cryptosystems. Although some problems occur when retrieving the second/third secret key, our proposed method effectively resolves them. Our proposed methods can retrieve secret keys even if a scan chain includes registers except a crypto module and attackers do not know when the encryption is really done in the crypto module. Experimental results demonstrate that we successfully retrieve the secret keys of a DES cryptosystem using at most 32 plaintexts and that of a Triple DES cryptosystem using at most 36 plaintexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-579
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of information processing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Data encryption standard
  • Scan chain
  • Scan-based attack
  • Side-channel attacks
  • Triple data encryption standard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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