Advances on Access-Driven Cache Attacks on AES

  • Michael Neve
  • Jean-Pierre Seifert
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4356)


An access-driven attack is a class of cache-based side channel analysis. Like the time-driven attack, the cache’s timings are under inspection as a source of information leakage. Access-driven attacks scrutinize the cache behavior with a finer granularity, rather than evaluating the overall execution time. Access-driven attacks leverage the ability to detect whether a cache line has been evicted, or not, as the primary mechanism for mounting an attack. In this paper we focus on the case of AES and we show that the vast majority of processors suffer from this cache-based vulnerability. Our best results are indeed performed on a processor without the multi-threading capabilities — in contrast to previous works in this area that had suggested that multi-threading actually improved, or even made possible, this class of attack.

Despite some technical difficulties required to mount such attacks, our work shows that access-driven cache-based attacks are becoming easier to understand and analyze. Also, when such attacks are mounted against systems performing AES, only a very limited number of encryptions are required to recover the whole key with a high probability of success, due to our last round analysis from the ciphertext.


Block Cipher Side Channel Cache Line Covert Channel Cryptology ePrint Archive 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Neve
    • 1
  • Jean-Pierre Seifert
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Intel Corporation, CTG STL Trusted Platform Laboratory, 2111 NE 25th Avenue, Hillsboro Oregon 97124USA
  2. 2.Applied Security Research Group, The Center for Computational Mathematics and Scientific Computation, Faculty of Science and Science Education, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905Israel
  3. 3.Institute for Computer Science, University of Innsbruck, 6020 InnsbruckAustria

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