Collaboration with NIST on Evaluating Side-Channel Attacks on Post-Quantim Cryptography

In 2016 the American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) started a post-quantum cryptography (PQC) standardization process for key encapsulation mechanisms (KEM) and digital signature schemes. The competition began with 69 proper submissions in December 2017. As of July 22, 2020, the competition entered the third round with 7 finalist algorithms (4 KEM/Encryption and 3 Signature). The recent advance in the PQC field has gradually shifted from the theory to the implementation of the cryptosystem, especially on the hardware platforms. During the standardization process, it is necessary to validate the candidates’ implementation with secure countermeasures with regard to hardware vulnerability to side-channel attacks. In this work, FICS Research focuses on secure and efficient hardware implementations of three Lattice-based KEM finalists and analyze their vulnerability to power side-channel attacks in order to provide efficient countermeasures. Drs. Mark Tehranipoor, Farimah Farahmandi, Fahim Rahman, Jungmin Park, and Nalla Nachimuthu of FICS Research collaborate on this problem with NIST counterpart.