Scan-based attack on AES through round registers and its countermeasure

Youhua Shi*, Nozomu Togawa, Masao Yanagisawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scan-based side channel attack on hardware implementations of cryptographic algorithms has shown its great security threat. Unlike existing scan-based attacks, in our work we observed that instead of the secret-related-registers, some non-secret registers also carry the potential of being misused to help a hacker to retrieve secret keys. In this paper, we first present a scan-based side channel attack method on AES by making use of the round counter registers, which are not paid attention to in previous works, to show the potential security threat in designs with scan chains. And then we discussed the issues of secure DFT requirements and proposed a secure scan scheme to preserve all the advantages and simplicities of traditional scan test, while significantly improve the security with ignorable design overhead, for crypto hardware implementations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2338-2346
Number of pages9
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec


  • Crypto implementation
  • Scan-based side channel attack
  • Security
  • Testability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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