Your IP: Unknown · Your Status: ProtectedUnprotectedUnknown
Side-channel attack

Side-channel attack

(also format string vulnerability, FS attack)

Side-channel attack definition

A side-channel attack (SCA) is a type of cybersecurity attack that can cause information leaks and theft. A side-channel attack is conducted by analyzing or measuring different physical parameters such as execution time, supply currents, power consumption, and electromagnetic emissions.

Side-channel attacks are focused on attacking hardware instead of software. They steal data indirectly, which is the opposite of what most cyberattacks do – stealing data directly. Side-channel attacks are passive attacks and don’t require a lot of expensive equipment to work.

With a side-channel attack, an attacker waits until they spot leakage from a hardware device. Then, the attacker targets the leakage with a side-channel attack and extracts sensitive information from it.

See also: active attack, data leakage

Format string attack examples

  • Timing attacks. These attacks analyze and measure the time it takes a system to execute cryptographic algorithms.
  • Simple power analysis (SPA). This analysis monitors the power and electromagnetic variations that a system shows while it is operating.
  • Electromagnetic (EM) attack. This attack measures and analyzes the electromagnetic radiation that a certain device emits.
  • Template attack. This attack exploits identical template devices and compares side-channel data to get access to cryptographic keys that can be used to decrypt connections.
  • Differential power analysis (DPA). This is an analysis that attackers conduct to observe the statistical measurements of several operations.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security

We value your privacy

This website uses cookies to provide you with a safer and more personalized experience. By accepting, you agree to the use of cookies for ads and analytics, in line with our Cookie Policy.