Optical Cryptanalysis: Recovering Cryptographic Keys from Power LED Light Fluctuations

Ben Nassi, Ofek Vayner, Etay Iluz, Dudi Nassi, Jan Jancar, Daniel Genkin, Eran Tromer, Boris Zadov, Yuval Elovici

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Although power LEDs have been integrated in various devices that perform cryptographic operations for decades, the cryptanalysis risk they pose has not yet been investigated. In this paper, we present optical cryptanalysis, a new form of cryptanalytic side-channel attack, in which secret keys are extracted by using a photodiode to measure the light emitted by a device's power LED and analyzing subtle fluctuations in the light intensity during cryptographic operations. We analyze the optical leakage of power LEDs of various consumer devices and the factors that affect the optical SNR. We then demonstrate end-to-end optical cryptanalytic attacks against a range of consumer devices (smartphone, smartcard, and Raspberry Pi, along with their USB peripherals) and recover secret keys (RSA, ECDSA, SIKE) from prior and recent versions of popular cryptographic libraries (GnuPG, Libgcrypt, PQCrypto-SIDH) from a maximum distance of 25 meters.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCCS 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages268-280
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9798400700507
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event30th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2023 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 26 Nov 202330 Nov 2023

Publication series

NameCCS 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security

Conference

Conference30th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2023
Country/TerritoryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period26/11/2330/11/23

Keywords

  • Cryptanalysis
  • ECDSA
  • RSA
  • SIKE
  • Side-Channel Attack

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