Side-channel attacks for modern targets: from smart-cards to complex embedded systems


Jacobs Hall, Room 2512, Jacobs School of Engineering, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, San Diego, California 92093

Sponsored By:
Professor Farinaz Koushanfar

Ro Cammarota, Ph.D.
Qualcomm Research
Ro Cammarota, Ph.D.


As mobile systems gain new capabilities, their security also needs to increase, to mitigate piracy, fraud and identity theft. Specifically, side-channel resistance needs to be accounted for both hardware and software implementations of cryptography, to protect secret key material against key extraction attacks. Furthermore, such implementations need to be certified as side-channel resistant to compete on the market. Side-channel analysis is not a new discipline. However, that side-channel analysis was mainly developed in the smartcard domain raises questions: do existing side-channel attack vectors and mitigations apply to modern targets, e.g., embedding a system-on-chip of increasing complexity? How does the complexity of modern targets impact both attack and mitigation techniques? In this talk I summarize our findings and the lessons learned to address the questions above.

Speaker Bio:
Ro Cammarota is a Staff member of Qualcomm Research. He drives many of the exploratory Security R&D efforts, ranging from cryptanalysis to security standards for communication protocols. He also drives University Collaborations in the areas of system security, with a focus on applied cryptography. His research interests include system security, security standards and high-performance architectures. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of California Irvine, and M.S. in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Naples, Italy.

Claudia Hennessy