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DPA Countermeasures

Our Cryptography Research division discovered Simple Power Analysis (SPA) and Differential Power Analysis (DPA), and developed fundamental solutions and techniques for protecting devices against DPA and related side-channel attacks, along with supporting tools, programs, and services.


Solution Overview

Solutions Product Brief Applications
DPA Resistant Core
Commercial, Government
DPA Resistant Software Libraries
Commercial, Government
DPA Workstation Platform
SoC/System Mfrs, Testing Labs
Consulting Services SoC/System Mfrs, Testing Labs
Education & Training SoC/System Mfrs, Testing Labs
Validation Program SoC/System Mfrs, Testing Labs
Licensed Countermeasures Commercial, Government

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Superior Protection

Robust countermeasures to protect against side-channel attacks

Broad range of hardware, software and protocol approaches

Cores validated to resist DPA attacks in millions of traces

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Improved time-to-market

Simplified device testing for power analysis vulnerabilities

Training, evaluation services and analysis equipment

Ready-to-use DPA Resistant solutions

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High Flexibility

Solutions can be optimized for performance, size, and security level

Solutions integrate with standard cipher modes such as CBC, ECB, etc.

DPA Countermeasures

Many electronic devices that use cryptography are susceptible to side-channel attacks, including SPA and DPA. A side-channel is an unintentional channel providing information about the internal activity of the chip, for example power consumption or EM emissions. These low-cost, non-invasive methods enable attackers to stealthily extract secret cryptographic keys used during normal device operations. Once the keys have been extracted, attackers can easily gain unauthorized access to a device, decrypt or forge messages, steal identities, clone devices, create unauthorized signatures and perform additional unauthorized transactions.

Simple Power Analysis - DPA Countermeasures video

Introduction to side-channel attacks

Introduction to Side-Channel Attacks

Side-channel attacks conducted against electronic gear are relatively simple and inexpensive to execute. Such attacks include simple power analysis (SPA) and Differential Power Analysis (DPA). An attacker does not need to know specific implementation details of the cryptographic device to perform these attacks and extract keys. As all physical electronic systems routinely leak information, effective side-channel countermeasures should be implemented at the design stage to ensure protection of sensitive keys and data.

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Billions of devices deployed across numerous industries already meet stringent standards for side-channel resistance. Many use our IP cryptographic cores and software libraries to protect against DPA and related side-channel attacks.

As part of our ecosystem enablement, we offer our DPA Workstation™ Platform to customers and partners as a powerful and flexible tool for evaluating the level of DPA resistance within a device or system. It includes customized test fixtures and a proprietary DPA software suite with source code.

Additionally, we have established a comprehensive third-party validation program to certify the DPA resistance of cryptographic modules for SoCs, systems manufacturers and testing labs.

Protecting electronic systems from side-channel attacks

Protecting Electronic Systems from Side-Channel Attacks

As all physical electronic systems routinely leak information, effective side-channel countermeasures such as Rambus’ DPA Resistant Hardware Cores (DPARC) or DPA Software Library (DPASL) should be implemented at the design stage to ensure protection of sensitive keys and data. After the implementation of hardware or software countermeasures, systems should be carefully evaluated with a Test Vector Leakage Assessment (TVLA) platform such as the Rambus DPA Workstation (DPAWS) to confirm the cessation of sensitive side-channel leakage.

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Related Markets & Applications

Aerospace & Defense
Mobile Edge
Data Center
Pay TV