Q

Cryptosystem attacks that do not involve obtaining the decryption key

When a cryptosystem is attacked, are there more things to look out for than attacks that involve getting the decryption key? Find out more in this IAM expert response.

Is there an attack that can be launched against a cryptosystem that does not involve trying to obtain the decryption key?

Aside from a brute-force attack, the only one that I know of is the power attack. In this type of attack, the hacker attempts to determine the value of the private key by monitoring the power consumption of a smartcard while it is computing the given cipher text.

The latest in the evolution is called leakage-based differential power analysis (LDPA). This method was created in response to power attack resistant cryptosystems and involves measuring the power leakage during decryption instead of the direct power usage.

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This was first published in December 2008
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