Start date: Sep 1, 2013,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
"Cryptography aims at designing schemes that are resilient to adversarial behavior. Although notions of adversarial behavior have significantly evolved over the years, the vast majority of cryptographic schemes are still analyzed in rather traditional adversarial models which do not capture various forms of unintendedly leakage of information (usually referred to as ``side channels''). Typical examples include electromagnetic measurements, timing information, and many more. Over the years side-channel attacks exposed crucial vulnerabilities in a large number of schemes that are in fact considered secure in the traditional models. Extensive research has been devoted to protecting against side-channels attacks, where traditional countermeasures aim at making the physical world as similar as possible to the abstract models by preventing unintended leakage of information (e.g., building ``tamper-proof'' devices). This approach, however, is typically inefficient, and even impossible to realize in many cases.Quite recently, research in cryptography has put forward a complementing approach, arguing that side channels should be taken into consideration, as much as possible, already in the initial design of systems, and not only during their implementation. Specifically, extensive research has been devoted to designing systems that are robust to realistic modifications of the traditional models. Despite this recent progress, however, research in cryptography is still quite far from obtaining a sufficiently good understanding of side channels. The main objectives of this proposal are to study the drawbacks and limitations of the current models and systems that have been developed so far, and to propose new approaches and techniques for realizing better, more realistic, ones. Accomplishing these objectives would minimize the gap between theory and practice in combating side channels, and as a result, increase the deployment of newly-developed leakage-resilient systems."
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