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Perhaps not surprisingly, general-purpose silicon – such as FPGAs and ASICs – receive more attacker attention because they are easier to acquire.Differential power analysis Differential power analysis is a form of side-channel attack that monitors variations in the electrical power consumption or electro-magnetic emissions of a target device. Air Force Currently, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is both the industry and military standard for symmetric-key encryption.The basic method involves partitioning a set of traces into subsets, then subsequently computing the difference of the averages of these subsets. Fritzke notes, the transfer of information has always been an integral part of military operations. Although AES remains “computationally infeasible” for attackers to break an encrypted message stream, it is nonetheless susceptible to DPA.Given enough traces, extremely minute correlations can be isolated — no matter how much noise is present in the measurements. Message encryption seeks to prevent all but the sender and recipient from viewing any encrypted data – although the secret key must remain hidden. Therefore, says Fritzke, DPA countermeasures are absolutely “crucial” to maintaining effective data security.

It is, therefore, critical for warfighters to be equipped with secure electronic equipment before they are deployed to FOBs and CSLs.

To be sure, portable electronics, communications gear, and “leave-behind” equipment are the most vulnerable to exploitation and could potentially allow hostile forces to eavesdrop on military communications and forge command-and-control messages.

Therefore, equipment that employs cryptography to protect the sensitive transmission of data should be capable of resisting various forms of side-channel attacks, including Differential Power Analysis (DPA) and Simple Power Analysis (SPA).

After earning a degree in Computer Science from Purdue University, Michael gained extensive experience in reverse-engineering, threat modeling, risk assessment, and system security technologies.

He has lead multimillion-dollar commercial- and military-grade software protection, evaluation, and engineering projects for some of the most prominent companies in the world.

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