Improved Side-Channel Analysis Attacks on Xilinx Bitstream Encryption of 5, 6, and 7 Series

  • Amir MoradiEmail author
  • Tobias Schneider
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9689)


Since 2012, it is publicly known that the bitstream encryption feature of modern Xilinx FPGAs can be broken by side-channel analysis. Presented at CT-RSA 2012, using graphics processing units (GPUs) the authors demonstrated power analysis attacks mounted on side-channel evaluation boards optimized for power measurements. In this work, we extend such attacks by moving to the EM side channel to examine their practical relevance in real-world scenarios. Furthermore, by following a certain measurement procedure we reduce the search space of each part of the attack from \(2^{32}\) to \(2^8\), which allows mounting the attacks on ordinary workstations. Several Xilinx FPGAs from different families – including the 7 series devices – are susceptible to the attacks presented here.


Power Trace Electro Magnetic Analysis Correlation Power Analysis Xilinx FPGAs Electro Magnetic Probe 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to acknowledge Alexander Jakimowic and Oliver Mischke for their help with development of the setup. The research in this work was supported in part by the DFG Research Training Group GRK 1817/1.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Horst Görtz Institute for IT SecurityRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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