A unified masking approach

Hannes Gross, Stefan Mangard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The continually growing number of security-related autonomous devices requires efficient mechanisms to counteract low-cost side-channel analysis (SCA) attacks. Masking provides high SCA resistance at an adjustable level of security. A high level of resistance, however, goes hand in hand with an increasing demand for fresh randomness which drastically increases the implementation costs. Since hardware-based masking schemes have other security requirements than software masking schemes, the research in these two fields has been conducted quite independently over the last 10 years. One important practical difference is that recently published software schemes achieve a lower randomness footprint than hardware masking schemes. In this work we combine existing software and hardware masking schemes into a unified masking algorithm. We demonstrate how to protect software and hardware implementations using the same masking algorithm, and for lower randomness costs than the separate schemes. Especially for hardware implementations, the randomness costs can in some cases be halved over the state of the art. Theoretical considerations as well as practical implementation results are then used for a comparison with existing schemes from different perspectives and at different levels of security.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cryptographic Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


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