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Memory Tampering Attack on Binary GCD Based Inversion Algorithms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalInternational Journal of Parallel Programming
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In the field of cryptography engineering, implementation-based attacks are a major concern due to their proven feasibility. Fault injection is one attack vector, nowadays a major research line. In this paper, we present how a memory tampering-based fault attack can be used to severely limit the output space of binary GCD based modular inversion algorithm implementations. We frame the proposed attack in the context of ECDSA showing how this approach allows recovering the private key from only one signature, independent of the key size. We analyze two memory tampering proposals, illustrating how this technique can be adapted to different implementations. Besides its application to ECDSA, it can be extended to other cryptographic schemes and countermeasures where binary GCD based modular inversion algorithms are employed. In addition, we describe how memory tampering-based fault attacks can be used to mount a previously proposed fault attack on scenarios that were initially discarded, showing the importance of including memory tampering attacks in the frameworks for analyzing fault attacks and their countermeasures.


  • Binary GCD, Bitstream manipulation, ECDSA, Fault attacks, FPGA memory tampering

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