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Reports (Research Report) Year : 2012

Efficient Padding Oracle Attacks on Cryptographic Hardware


We show how to exploit the encrypted key import functions of a variety of different cryptographic devices to reveal the imported key. The attacks are padding oracle attacks, where error messages resulting from incorrectly padded plaintexts are used as a side channel. In the asymmetric encryption case, we modify and improve Bleichenbacher's attack on RSA PKCS#1v1.5 padding, giving new cryptanalysis that allows us to carry out the 'million message attack' in a mean of 49 000 and median of 14 500 oracle calls in the case of cracking an unknown valid ciphertext under a 1024 bit key (the original algorithm takes a mean of 215 000 and a median of 163 000 in the same case). We show how implementation details of certain devices admit an attack that requires only 9 400 operations on average (3 800 median). For the symmetric case, we adapt Vaudenay's CBC attack, which is already highly efficient. We demonstrate the vulnerabilities on a number of commercially available cryptographic devices, including security tokens, smartcards, Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) and the Estonian electronic ID card. The attacks are efficient enough to be practical: we give timing details for all the devices found to be vulnerable, showing how our optimisations make a qualitative difference to the practicality of the attack. We give mathematical analysis of the effectiveness of the attacks, extensive empirical results, and a discussion of countermeasures and manufacturer reaction.
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Dates and versions

hal-00691958 , version 1 (05-06-2012)
hal-00691958 , version 2 (06-06-2012)
hal-00691958 , version 3 (25-07-2012)


  • HAL Id : hal-00691958 , version 3


Romain Bardou, Riccardo Focardi, Yusuke Kawamoto, Lorenzo Simionato, Graham Steel, et al.. Efficient Padding Oracle Attacks on Cryptographic Hardware. [Research Report] RR-7944, INRIA. 2012, pp.19. ⟨hal-00691958v3⟩
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