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Securing Software against Physical Attacks

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SOPHIA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: GRAZ
postcode: 8010

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Austria [AT]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙964˙750 €
 EC max contribution 1˙964˙750 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-09-01   to  2021-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET GRAZ AT (GRAZ) coordinator 1˙964˙750.00


 Project objective

More than 15 years ago, several seminal publications showed that cryptographic keys can be revealed by analysing the power consumption or by inducing faults to devices like smart cards. The publication of these so-called physical attacks sparked off research on all kinds of attack techniques and countermeasures to secure implementations of cryptographic schemes.

However, a system can still be attacked easily if only the execution of cryptographic schemes is secured. An attacker can for example induce a fault to bypass an authentication or to jump to a privileged function directly. The system might also leak the key before the execution of a cryptographic scheme starts.

Today, there is almost no research on securing systems and software execution against physical attacks. Products like smart cards rely on proprietary best-practice countermeasures. Also countless devices of the Internet of Things are exposed to physical attacks and lack protection.

Our goal is to close this fundamental gap in system security and to establish the scientific foundation for executing software securely and efficiently in the presence of physical attacks. We aim to address research questions that range from the modelling of the attacks at the hardware level up to system-level questions like how changing properties of programming languages can support achieving protection against physical attacks.

This project brings together research on physical attacks, cryptography, system architectures, fault tolerant design as well as formal methods. Combining the fields, we pursue novel approaches to securing the control flow, CPU computations and memories. We in particular aim to find efficient methods in hardware and software that allow building systems where critical parts of the overall software can be secured against physical attacks without affecting or trusting the rest of the system. Our research also includes automated generation and verification techniques for the secured software.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Claudio Canella, Jo Van Bulck, Michael Schwarz , Moritz Lipp , Benjamin von Berg , Philipp Ortner , Frank Piessens , Dmitry Evtyushkin, Daniel Gruss
A Systematic Evaluation of Transient Execution Attacks and Defenses
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
USENIX Security 2019 2019-11-07
2019 Mario Werner, Thomas Unterluggauer, Lukas Giner, Michael Schwarz, Daniel Gruss, and Stefan Mangard
ScatterCache: Thwarting Cache Attacks via Cache Set Randomization
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
USENIX Security 2019 2019-11-07
2018 Weiser, S., Spreitzer, R., Bodner, L.
Single Trace Attack Against RSA Key Generation in Intel SGX SSL
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
AsiaCCS 2018 2019-06-18
2018 Michael Schwarz Moritz Lipp Daniel Gruss
JavaScript Zero: Real JavaScript and Zero Side-Channel Attacks
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
NDSS 2018 2019-06-18
2018 Michael Schwarz, Moritz Lipp, Daniel Gruss, Samuel Weiser, Clémentine Maurice, Raphael Spreitzer, Stefan Mangard
KeyDrown: Eliminating Software-Based Keystroke Timing Side-Channel Attacks.
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.14722/ndss.2018.23002
NDSS Symposium 2018 2019-06-18
2017 Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, Michael Schwarz, Daniel Genkin, Jonas Juffinger, Sioli O\'Connell, Wolfgang Schoechl, Yuval Yarom
Another Flip in the Wall of Rowhammer Defenses
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
39th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2018 2019-06-18
2018 Thomas Unterluggauer, Thomas Korak, Stefan Mangard, Robert Schilling, Luca Benini, Frank K. Gürkaynak, Michael Muehlberghuber
Leakage Bounds for Gaussian Side Channels
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
CARDIS 2018 2019-06-18
2017 Groß, H., Mangard, S.
Reconciling d+1 Masking in Hardware and Software
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
CHES 2017 2019-06-18
2018 Hannes Gross, Stefan Mangard
A unified masking approach
published pages: , ISSN: 2190-8508, DOI: 10.1007/s13389-018-0184-y
Journal of Cryptographic Engineering 2019-06-18
2017 Michael Schwarz, Samuel Weiser, Daniel Gruss, Clémentine Maurice, Stefan Mangard
Malware guard extension
published pages: 3-24, ISSN: , DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-60876-1_1
DIMVA\'17 2019-06-18
2017 Dobraunig, Christoph; Eichlseder, Maria; Mangard, Stefan; Mendel, Florian; Unterluggauer, Thomas
ISAP – Towards Side-Channel Secure Authenticated Encryption
published pages: , ISSN: 2519-173X, DOI: 10.13154/tosc.v2017.i1.80-105
IACR Transactions on Symmetric Cryptology 1 2019-06-18
2017 Daniel Gruss, Moritz Lipp, Michael Schwarz, Richard Fellner, Clémentine Maurice, Stefan Mangard
KASLR is Dead
published pages: 161-176, ISSN: , DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-62105-0_11
ESSoS\'17 2019-06-18
2018 Spreitzer, R., Palfinger, G., Mangard, S.
SCAnDroid: Automated Side-Channel Analysis of Android APIs
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
WISEC 2018 2019-06-18
2018 Spreitzer, R., Kirchengast, F., Gruss, D., Mangard, S.
ProcHarvester: Fully Automated Analysis of Procfs Side-Channel Leaks on Android
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
AsiaCCS 2018 2019-06-18
2018 Thomas Unterluggauer, Mario Werner, Stefan Mangard
MEAS: memory encryption and authentication secure against side-channel attacks
published pages: , ISSN: 2190-8508, DOI: 10.1007/s13389-018-0180-2
Journal of Cryptographic Engineering 2019-06-18
2017 Hannes Gross, Manuel Jelinek, Stefan Mangard, Thomas Unterluggauer, Mario Werner
Concealing Secrets in Embedded Processors Designs
published pages: 89-104, ISSN: , DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-54669-8_6
CARDIS 2016 2019-06-18
2018 Raphael Spreitzer, Veelasha Moonsamy, Thomas Korak, Stefan Mangard
Systematic Classification of Side-Channel Attacks: A Case Study for Mobile Devices
published pages: 465-488, ISSN: 1553-877X, DOI: 10.1109/COMST.2017.2779824
IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials 20/1 2019-06-18
2018 Roderick Bloem, Hannes Gross, Rinat Iusupov, Bettina Könighofer, Stefan Mangard, Johannes Winter
Formal Verification of Masked Hardware Implementations in the Presence of Glitches
published pages: 321-353, ISSN: , DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-78375-8_11
Eurocrypt 2018 2019-06-18
2018 Kocher, Paul; Genkin, Daniel; Gruss, Daniel; Haas, Werner; Hamburg, Mike; Lipp, Moritz; Mangard, Stefan; Prescher, Thomas; Schwarz, Michael; Yarom, Yuval
Spectre Attacks: Exploiting Speculative Execution
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 3 2019-06-06
2018 Christoph Dobraunig, Maria Eichlseder, Hannes Gross, Stefan Mangard, Florian Mendel, Robert Primas
Statistical Ineffective Fault Attacks on Masked AES with Fault Countermeasures
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
ASIACRYPT 2018 2019-06-06
2019 Michael Schwarz, Florian Lackner, Daniel Gruss
JavaScript Template Attacks: Automatically Inferring Host Information for Targeted Exploits
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
NDSS 2019 2019-06-06
2018 Gross, H., Iusupov, R., & Bloem, R.
Generic Low-Latency Masking in Hardware
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.13154/tches.v2018.i2.1-21
CHES 2018 2019-06-06
2018 Christoph Dobraunig, Maria Eichlseder, Thomas Korak, Stefan Mangard, Florian Mendel, Robert Primas
SIFA: Exploiting Ineffective Fault Inductions on Symmetric Cryptography
published pages: , ISSN: 2569-2925, DOI:
IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems, 2018(3) 2019-06-06
2018 Lipp, Moritz; Schwarz, Michael; Gruss, Daniel; Prescher, Thomas; Haas, Werner; Mangard, Stefan; Kocher, Paul; Genkin, Daniel; Yarom, Yuval; Hamburg, Mike
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2 2019-05-15
2018 Schilling, Robert; Werner, Mario; Nasahl, Pascal; Mangard, Stefan
Pointing in the Right Direction - Securing Memory Accesses in a Faulty World
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2 2019-05-15

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