Measuring the vulnerability of cryptographic algorithms

Elke De Mulder*, Pieter Buysschaert, Siddika B. Örs, Peter Delmotte, Bart Preneel, Guy Vandenbosch, Ingrid Verbauwhede

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The importance to measure the vulnerability of cryptographic algorithms that are essential in protecting the confidentiality and authentication of data is discussed. A simple electromagnetic analysis (SEMA) attack on an unprotected implementation and differential electromagnetic analysis (DEMA) attack on an improved implementation is also discussed. The three main physical properties of cryptographic algorithms can be exploited in side-channel attacks including power consumption, timing, and electromagnetic radiation. In SEMA, an attacker uses the information from one electromagnetic radiation measure directly to determine the secret key, while in DEMA, measurements are used to filter out noise and the key is derived using a statistical analysis. It is necessary to optimize these attacks using sophisticated antennas and signal processing techniques. The system designers and cryptographers should develop, implement, and evaluate the countermeasures against side channel attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Potentials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring the vulnerability of cryptographic algorithms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this