Side Channel Analysis of SPARX-64/128: Cryptanalysis and Countermeasures

  • Sumesh Manjunath RameshEmail author
  • Hoda AlKhzaimi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11627)


SPARX family of lightweight block cipher was introduced in Asiacrypt 2016. The family consists of three variants (a) SPARX-64/128, (b) SPARX-128/128 and (c) SPARX-128/256. In this work, first, we propose a technique to perform Correlation Power Analysis (CPA) on the SPARX-64/128 cipher. Our technique uses a combination of first-order, second-order and modulo addition CPA methods. Using our proposed technique we extract 128 key bits of SPARX-64/128 cipher with low complexities in general; key guess complexity of \(2^{12}\) and \(65000\approx 2^{16}\) power traces. We initially propose a countermeasure of SPARX-64/128 block cipher against side-channel attacks in terms of power analysis, a threshold implementation based on a serialized design of SPARX-64/128 core. The serialized design of SPARX-64/128 core is implemented in hardware and occupies 60 slices in FPGA. As a countermeasure, this serialized implementation is extended to propose a provably secure threshold implementation of SPARX-64/128 core (TI-SPARX). The TI-SPARX core occupies 131 slices in FPGA and runs at 144 MHz thus, giving a throughput of 9 Mbps. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first side channel attack and countermeasure result on SPARX-64/128 cipher.


Side channel analysis Lightweight cryptography SPARX Correlation Power Analysis Threshold implementation 



This work is supported by Center of Cyber Security Abu Dhabi in NYUAD. The authors would like to acknowledge the support of Dr. K. K. Soundra Pandian and Mohammed Nabeel Thari Moopan.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Cyber SecurityNew York University Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUAE
  2. 2.Division of EngineeringNew York University Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUAE
  3. 3.Tandon School of EngineeringNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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