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Electromagnetic Attacks on Ring Oscillator-Based True Random Number Generator

Abstract : True random number generators (TRNGs) are ubiquitous in data security as one of basic cryptographic primitives. They are primarily used as generators of condential keys, to initialize vectors, to pad values, but also as random masks generators in some side channel attacks countermeasures. As such, they must have good statistical properties, be unpredictable and robust against attacks. This paper presents a contactless and local active attack on ring oscillators (ROs) based TRNGs using electromagnetic fields. Experiments show that in a TRNG featuring fifty ROs, the impact of a local electromagnetic emanation on the ROs is so strong, that it is possible to lock them on the injected signal and thus to control the monobit bias of the TRNG output even when low power electromagnetic fields are exploited. These results conrm practically that the electromagnetic waves used for harmonic signal injection may represent a serious security threat for secure circuits that embed RO-based TRNG.
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Contributor : Nathalie Bochard <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 11:50:22 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 4:18:31 PM


  • HAL Id : ujm-00712545, version 1


Pierre Bayon, Lilian Bossuet, Alain Aubert, Viktor Fischer, François Poucheret, et al.. Electromagnetic Attacks on Ring Oscillator-Based True Random Number Generator. CryptArchi: Cryptographic Architectures, Jun 2012, Saint-Etienne, France. ⟨ujm-00712545⟩



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