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  1. Motivated by the rise of quantum computers, existing public-key cryptosystems are expected to be replaced by post-quantum schemes in the next decade in billions of devices. To facilitate the transition, NIST is running a standardization process which is currently in its final Round. Only three digital signature schemes are left in the competition, among which Dilithium and Falcon are the ones based on lattices. Besides security and performance, significant attention has been given to resistance against implementation attacks that target side-channel leakage or fault injection response. Classical fault attacks on signature schemes make use of pairs of faulty and correct signatures to recover the secret key which only works on deterministic schemes. To counter such attacks, Dilithium offers a randomized version which makes each signature unique, even when signing identical messages. In this work, we introduce a novel Signature Correction Attack which not only applies to the deterministic version but also to the randomized version of Dilithium and is effective even on constant-time implementations using AVX2 instructions. The Signature Correction Attack exploits the mathematical structure of Dilithium to recover the secret key bits by using faulty signatures and the public-key. It can work for any fault mechanism which can inducemore »single bit-flips. For demonstration, we are using Rowhammer induced faults. Thus, our attack does not require any physical access or special privileges, and hence could be also implemented on shared cloud servers. Using Rowhammer attack, we inject bit flips into the secret key s1 of Dilithium, which results in incorrect signatures being generated by the signing algorithm. Since we can find the correct signature using our Signature Correction algorithm, we can use the difference between the correct and incorrect signatures to infer the location and value of the flipped bit without needing a correct and faulty pair. To quantify the reduction in the security level, we perform a thorough classical and quantum security analysis of Dilithium and successfully recover 1,851 bits out of 3,072 bits of secret key $s_{1}$ for security level 2. Fully recovered bits are used to reduce the dimension of the lattice whereas partially recovered coefficients are used to to reduce the norm of the secret key coefficients. Further analysis for both primal and dual attacks shows that the lattice strength against quantum attackers is reduced from 2128 to 281 while the strength against classical attackers is reduced from 2141 to 289. Hence, the Signature Correction Attack may be employed to achieve a practical attack on Dilithium (security level 2) as proposed in Round 3 of the NIST post-quantum standardization process.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. The recent Spectre attack first showed how to inject incorrect branch targets into a victim domain by poisoning microarchitectural branch prediction history. In this paper, we generalize injection-based methodologies to the memory hierarchy by directly injecting incorrect, attacker-controlled values into a victim's transient execution. We propose Load Value Injection (LVI) as an innovative technique to reversely exploit Meltdown-type microarchitectural data leakage. LVI abuses that faulting or assisted loads, executed by a legitimate victim program, may transiently use dummy values or poisoned data from various microarchitectural buffers, before eventually being re-issued by the processor. We show how LVI gadgets allow to expose victim secrets and hijack transient control flow. We practically demonstrate LVI in several proof-of-concept attacks against Intel SGX enclaves, and we discuss implications for traditional user process and kernel isolation. State-of-the-art Meltdown and Spectre defenses, including widespread silicon-level and microcode mitigations, are orthogonal to our novel LVI techniques. LVI drastically widens the spectrum of incorrect transient paths. Fully mitigating our attacks requires serializing the processor pipeline with lfence instructions after possibly every memory load. Additionally and even worse, due to implicit loads, certain instructions have to be blacklisted, including the ubiquitous x86 ret instruction. Intel plans compiler and assembler-basedmore »full mitigations that will allow at least SGX enclave programs to remain secure on LVI-vulnerable systems. Depending on the application and optimization strategy, we observe extensive overheads of factor 2 to 19 for prototype implementations of the full mitigation.« less
  3. Several techniques have been proposed to detect vulnerable Spectre gadgets in widely deployed commercial software. Unfortunately, detection techniques proposed so far rely on hand-written rules which fall short in covering subtle variations of known Spectre gadgets as well as demand a huge amount of time to analyze each conditional branch in software. Moreover, detection tool evaluations are based only on a handful of these gadgets, as it requires arduous effort to craft new gadgets manually. In this work, we employ both fuzzing and deep learning techniques to automate the generation and detection of Spectre gadgets. We first create a diverse set of Spectre-V1 gadgets by introducing perturbations to the known gadgets. Using mutational fuzzing, we produce a data set with more than 1 million Spectre-V1 gadgets which is the largest Spectre gadget data set built to date. Next, we conduct the first empirical usability study of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) in the context of assembly code generation without any human interaction. We introduce SpectreGAN which leverages masking implementation of GANs for both learning the gadget structures and generating new gadgets. This provides the first scalable solution to extend the variety of Spectre gadgets. Finally, we propose FastSpec which builds amore »classifier with the generated Spectre gadgets based on a novel high dimensional Neural Embeddings technique (BERT). For the case studies, we demonstrate that FastSpec discovers potential gadgets with a high success rate in OpenSSL libraries and Phoronix benchmarks. Further, FastSpec offers much greater flexibility and time-related performance gain compared to the existing tools and therefore can be used for gadget detection in large-scale software.« less
  4. Post-quantum schemes are expected to replace existing public-key schemes within a decade in billions of devices. To facilitate the transition, the US National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is running a standardization process. Multivariate signatures is one of the main categories in NIST's post-quantum cryptography competition. Among the four candidates in this category, the LUOV and Rainbow schemes are based on the Oil and Vinegar scheme, first introduced in 1997 which has withstood over two decades of cryptanalysis. Beyond mathematical security and efficiency, security against side-channel attacks is a major concern in the competition. The current sentiment is that post-quantum schemes may be more resistant to fault-injection attacks due to their large key sizes and the lack of algebraic structure. We show that this is not true. We introduce a novel hybrid attack, QuantumHammer, and demonstrate it on the constant-time implementation of LUOV currently in Round 2 of the NIST post-quantum competition. The QuantumHammer attack is a combination of two attacks, a bit-tracing attack enabled via Rowhammer fault injection and a divide and conquer attack that uses bit-tracing as an oracle. Using bit-tracing, an attacker with access to faulty signatures collected using Rowhammer attack, can recover secret key bitsmore »albeit slowly. We employ a divide and conquer attack which exploits the structure in the key generation part of LUOV and solves the system of equations for the secret key more efficiently with few key bits recovered via bit-tracing. We have demonstrated the first successful in-the-wild attack on LUOV recovering all 11K key bits with less than 4 hours of an active Rowhammer attack. The post-processing part is highly parallel and thus can be trivially sped up using modest resources. QuantumHammer does not make any unrealistic assumptions, only requires software co-location (no physical access), and therefore can be used to target shared cloud servers or in other sandboxed environments.« less
  5. In May 2019, a new class of transient execution attack based on Meltdown called microarchitectural data sampling (MDS), was disclosed. MDS enables adversaries to leak secrets across security domains by collecting data from shared CPU resources such as data cache, fill buffers, and store buffers. These resources may temporarily hold data that belongs to other processes and privileged contexts, which could falsely be forwarded to memory accesses of an adversary. We perform an in-depth analysis of these Meltdown-style attacks using our novel fuzzing-based approach. We introduce an analysis tool, named Transynther, which mutates the basic block of existing Meltdown variants to generate and evaluate new Meltdown subvariants. We apply Transynther to analyze modern CPUs and better understand the root cause of these attacks. As a result, we find new variants of MDS that only target specific memory operations, e.g., fast string copies. Based on our findings, we propose a new attack, named Medusa, which can leak data from implicit write-combining memory operations. Since Medusa only applies to specific operations, it can be used to pinpoint vulnerable targets. In a case study, we apply Medusa to recover the key during the RSA signing operation. We show that Medusa can leak variousmore »parts of an RSA key during the base64 decoding stage. Then we build leakage templates and recover full RSA keys by employing lattice-based cryptanalysis techniques.« less
  6. In early 2018, Meltdown first showed how to read arbitrary kernel memory from user space by exploiting side-effects from transient instructions. While this attack has been mitigated through stronger isolation boundaries between user and kernel space, Meltdown inspired an entirely new class of fault-driven transient-execution attacks. Particularly, over the past year, Meltdown-type attacks have been extended to not only leak data from the L1 cache but also from various other microarchitectural structures, including the FPU register file and store buffer. In this paper, we present the ZombieLoad attack which uncovers a novel Meltdown-type effect in the processor’s fill-buffer logic. Our analysis shows that faulting load instructions (i.e., loads that have to be re-issued) may transiently dereference unauthorized destinations previously brought into the fill buffer by the current or a sibling logical CPU. In contrast to concurrent attacks on the fill buffer, we are the first to report data leakage of recently loaded and stored stale values across logical cores even on Meltdown- and MDS-resistant processors. Hence, despite Intel’s claims [36], we show that the hardware fixes in new CPUs are not sufficient. We demonstrate ZombieLoad’s effectiveness in a multitude of practical attack scenarios across CPU privilege rings, OS processes, virtualmore »machines, and SGX enclaves. We discuss both short and long-term mitigation approaches and arrive at the conclusion that disabling hyperthreading is the only possible workaround to prevent at least the most-powerful cross-hyperthread attack scenarios on current processors, as Intel’s software fixes are incomplete.« less
  7. Trusted Platform Module (TPM) serves as a hardware based root of trust that protects cryptographic keys from privileged system and physical adversaries. In this work, we perform a black-box timing analysis of TPM 2.0 devices deployed on commodity computers. Our analysis reveals that some of these devices feature secret-dependent execution times during signature generation based on elliptic curves. In particular, we discovered timing leakage on an Intel firmware based TPM as well as a hardware TPM. We show how this information allows an attacker to apply lattice techniques to recover 256-bit private keys for ECDSA and ECSchnorr signatures. On Intel fTPM, our key recovery succeeds after about 1,300 observations and in less than two minutes. Similarly, we extract the private ECDSA key from a hardware TPM manufactured by STMicroelectronics, which is certified at Common Criteria (CC) EAL 4+, after fewer than 40,000 observations. We further highlight the impact of these vulnerabilities by demonstrating a remote attack against a StrongSwan IPsec VPN that uses a TPM to generate the digital signatures for authentication. In this attack, the remote client recovers the server’s private authentication key by timing only 45,000 authentication handshakes via a network connection. The vulnerabilities we have uncovered emphasizemore »the difficulty of correctly implementing known constant-time techniques, and show the importance of evolutionary testing and transparent evaluation of cryptographic implementations. Even certified devices that claim resistance against attacks require additional scrutiny by the community and industry, as we learn more about these attacks.« less
  8. Meltdown and Spectre enable arbitrary data leakage from memory via various side channels. Short-term software mitigations for Meltdown are only a temporary solution with a significant performance overhead. Due to hardware fixes, these mitigations are disabled on recent processors. In this paper, we show that Meltdown-like attacks are still possible on recent CPUs which are not vulnerable to Meltdown. We identify two behaviors of the store buffer, a microarchitectural resource to reduce the latency for data stores, that enable powerful attacks. The first behavior, Write Transient Forwarding forwards data from stores to subsequent loads even when the load address differs from that of the store. The second, Store-to-Leak exploits the interaction between the TLB and the store buffer to leak metadata on store addresses. Based on these, we develop multiple attacks and demonstrate data leakage, control flow recovery, and attacks on ASLR. Our paper shows that Meltdown-like attacks are still possible, and software fixes with potentially significant performance overheads are still necessary to ensure proper isolation between the kernel and user space.