Em attack is non-invasive? - Design methodology and validity verification of EM attack sensor

Naofumi Homma, Yu Ichi Hayashi, Noriyuki Miura, Daisuke Fujimoto, Daichi Tanaka, Makoto Nagata, Takafumi Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a standard-cell-based semi-automatic design methodology of a new conceptual countermeasure against electromagnetic (EM) analysis and fault-injection attacks. The countermeasure namely EM attack sensor utilizes LC oscillators which detect variations in the EM field around a cryptographic LSI caused by a micro probe brought near the LSI. A dual-coil sensor architecture with an LUT-programming-based digital calibration can prevent a variety of microprobe-based EM attacks that cannot be thwarted by conventional countermeasures. All components of the sensor core are semiautomatically designed by standard EDA tools with a fully-digital standard cell library and hence minimum design cost. This sensor can be therefore scaled together with the cryptographic LSI to be protected. The sensor prototype is designed based on the proposed methodology together with a 128bit-key composite AES processor in 0.18μm CMOS with overheads of only 2respectively. The validity against a variety of EM attack scenarios has been verified successfully.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Attack detection
  • Countermeasure
  • EM analysis attack
  • EM fault injection attack
  • Micro EM probe


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