A side channel attack is an attack that deduces secret information from environmental observations such as timing or power consumption.

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Principles of cache attacks

There are many scientific publications that deal with cache attacks. Most recently, the CacheBleed attack was published which exploits cache bank conflicts on the Intel Sandy Bridge architecture. Most ...
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Is flushing of all caches on any context switch between mutually-distrusting processes the only way to prevent cache timing attacks?

This article demonstrates a devastating Javascript-based cache timing attack that allows for cross-VM tracking of mouse movements and other activities by web pages. Is the only way to prevent cache-...
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Detect non HTTP packets using port 80

We are currently doing port whitelisting on our firewalls which is working well but this of course does not prevent the implementation of side channels or the misuse of these ports for other purposes. ...
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Covert, Overt, and side channels

I am really confused between the following three terms: Overt Channel. Covert Channel. Side-Channel. I feel frustrated! I've been searching about them to find a clear explanation but I keep ...
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Timing side-channel attack example

I understand that timing side-channel attack is a measurement of time taken to execute cryptographic algorithms. I'd like to see a simple example that explains how timing attack takes a place on any ...
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Questions about Side Channel Signal/Attack

I have a few questions about side channel signal/attack that could save my life. I need experts who have enough knowledge or has done this experiment to answer this questions. 1) What type of ...
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Usefulness of Server's Work Load given Timing Attack Resistance of Responses

I've read articles in the past discussing the importance of having timing attack resistant responses for information where knowing the time for evaluation would leak information about the data being ...
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Should I worry about remote timing attacks on string comparison? [duplicate]

Say we have a Java web application which uses a shared secret to verify the identity of the client. The secret is stored on the server, and the client transmits the secret over SSL where it is checked:...
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How to mitigate side-channel attacks?

Say I am at my office. I am now trying to talk to my friend with a LUI instant message application. I have a blanket covered over my keyboard, just like Snowden, probably good enough to hide my ...
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Can side channel attacks involving timing be executed with a packet sniffer?

If so, how would this be done? How would a cryptanalyst measure timing with a packet sniffer? I know there are certain side channel attacks, like the lucky thirteen attack, that target SSL and TLS, ...
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OpenPGP smartcards compromised by blackhat 2015 simcard hack?

This blackhat was a new sidechannel attack in the SIM-card AES encryption announced. I am currently using the OpenPGP smart/SIM-card version 2.1 to store my PGP-private keys, which is the same model ...
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How to do side channel attack on smart cards? [closed]

Assume that I have a smart card and I want to do a differential power side channel attack on its mutual authentication mechanism. This is the mutual authentication mechanism that my card using(Let ...
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Software defense against cold-boot attacks

Cold boot attacks are particularly nasty. On Android, a solution is to use a Nexus device with a locked bootloader to preven flashing a custom recovery. On a PC, your safeguards are even more limited....
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Origin of side-channel attacks

What is the origin of side-channel attacks? Is it related to the algorithm or to the implementation? In other words, is the software responsible for the attack or the hardware? Is there a ...
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Constant time compares when array sizes are not equal?

What is the preferred or recommended way to pursue contestant time compares when array lengths are not equal? Should we exit as early as possible? Something like: if (array1.size() != array2.size()) ...
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Are servers that do not implement time services vulnerable to clock skew attacks?

An article describes clock skew attack possibilities §§: These can be attacked by repeatedly connecting to the hidden service, causing its CPU load, hence temperature, to increase and so ...
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Do we have to take algorithm substitution attacks seriously?

Bruce Schneier's blog drew my attention to algorithm substitution attacks which may leak symmetric keys through IV or padding or other covert channels, encrypted with escrow keys. The major premise is ...
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Password prompt before en-/decryption to prevent Side Channel Attacks on FPGA?

When we are using a FPGA for file, container or full-disk encryption, we need to input a password for encryption/decryption process. How can we prevent side channel attacks to steal password for a ...
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side channel attacks - powered off system with physical access

Can you run Side-Channel-Attacks against a PC which was found properly shutdown and powered off? The attacker knows the cryto-tools used to encrypt the data. The attacker has full and unlimited ...
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Timing Safe String Comparison - Avoiding Length Leak

Let's say that we're building a generic timing-safe comparison function for general purpose use. Making it so that it is safe when both strings are equal length is pretty well known. However, what I'm ...
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RSA key recovery using sound - How does it work?

A very interesting Debian security advisory was released yesterday. Genkin, Shamir and Tromer discovered that RSA key material could be extracted by using the sound generated by the computer ...