Since the seminal work of Paul KOCHER (founder of CRI), side channel attacks have challenged many cryptographers and implementers. In a nutshell, side channel attacks use side information to guess secret keys. A simplified explanation: let’s imagine that your AES implementation takes longer when processing a “1” of the secret key than a “0”, by measuring the processing time you may guess the secret keys (without any intrusion). This is called a timing attack. There are other available side channel pieces of information such as power, electro-magnetic … Side channel attacks are devastating.
There is no standard way to compare the efficiency of different side channel attacks. Under the initiative of Telecom Paris Tech, the DPA contest expects to benchmark these attacks.
The second edition, DPA contest V2, allows different teams to compare their respective Differential Power Analysis attacks (DPA) against an unprotected AES implementation. Results will be presented in one coming crypto conference.