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Security Without Obscurity for Reliable Devices

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SWORD" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 1348

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 Belgium [BE]
 Total cost 1˙997˙661 €
 EC max contribution 1˙997˙661 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-09-01   to  2022-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Cryptographic implementations are traditionally evaluated based on a trade-off between security and efficiency. However, when it comes to physical security against attacks exploiting side-channel leakages or fault insertions, this approach is limited by the difficulty to define the adversaries (e.g. their knowledge about the target implementation) and to specify sound physical assumptions. Quite naturally, the problem becomes even more challenging in contexts where implementations can be maliciously modified during design or fabrication via so-called hardware Trojans. To a large extent, these vulnerabilities echo the general challenge of restoring trust that is faced by cryptographic research in view of the recent Snowden revelations. In this context, we believe that the design of small components able to perform secure computations locally will be an important building block of future information systems. For this purpose, the SWORD project envisions a paradigm shift in embedded security, by adding trust as an essential element in the evaluation of physically secure objects. Our two main ingredients to reach this ambitious goal are a good separation between mathematics and physics, and improved transparency in security evaluations. That is, we want cryptographic implementations to rely on physical assumptions that can be empirically verified, in order to obtain sound security guarantees based on mathematical proofs or arguments. And we want to make the empirical verification of physical assumptions more transparent, by considering open source hardware and software. By allowing adversaries and evaluators to know implementation details, we expect to enable a better understanding of the fundamentals of physical security, therefore leading to improved security, efficiency and trust in the longer term. That is, we hope to establish security guarantees based on a good understanding of the physics, rather than the (relative) misunderstanding caused by closed systems.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Kashif Nawaz, Léopold Van Brandt, Itamar Levi, François-Xavier Standaert, Denis Flandre
A security oriented transient-noise simulation methodology: Evaluation of intrinsic physical noise of cryptographic designs
published pages: 71-79, ISSN: 0167-9260, DOI: 10.1016/j.vlsi.2019.06.006
Integration 68 2020-04-01
2019 Gaëtan Cassiers, François-Xavier Standaert
Towards Globally Optimized Masking: From Low Randomness to Low Noise Rate or Probe Isolating Multiplications with Reduced Randomness and Security against Horizontal Attacks
published pages: 162-198, ISSN: 2569-2925, DOI: 10.13154/tches.v2019.i2.162-198
IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems 2019/2 2020-03-23
2018 Dina Kamel, Francois-Xavier Standaert, Alexandre Duc, Denis Flandre, Francesco Berti
Learning with Physical Noise or Errors
published pages: 1-1, ISSN: 1545-5971, DOI: 10.1109/tdsc.2018.2830763
IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing 2018 2020-03-23
2019 Weijia Wang, Yu Yu, Francois-Xavier Standaert
Provable Order Amplification for Code-Based Masking: How to Avoid Non-Linear Leakages Due to Masked Operations
published pages: 3069-3082, ISSN: 1556-6013, DOI: 10.1109/tifs.2019.2912549
IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security 14/11 2020-03-23
2018 Weijia Wang, Yu Yu, Francois-Xavier Standaert, Junrong Liu, Zheng Guo, Dawu Gu
Ridge-Based DPA: Improvement of Differential Power Analysis For Nanoscale Chips
published pages: 1301-1316, ISSN: 1556-6013, DOI: 10.1109/tifs.2017.2787985
IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security 13/5 2020-03-23
2019 Itamar Levi, Davide Bellizia, François-Xavier Standaert
Reducing a Masked Implementation’s Effective Security Order with Setup Manipulations
published pages: 293-317, ISSN: 2569-2925, DOI: 10.13154/tches.v2019.i2.293-317
IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems 2019/2 2020-03-23
2019 Thorben Moos, Amir Moradi, Tobias Schneider, François-Xavier Standaert
Glitch-Resistant Masking Revisited or Why Proofs in the Robust Probing Model are Needed
published pages: 256-292, ISSN: 2569-2925, DOI: 10.13154/tches.v2019.i2.256-292
IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems 2019/2 2020-03-23
2019 Alexandre Duc, Sebastian Faust, François-Xavier Standaert
Making Masking Security Proofs Concrete (Or How to Evaluate the Security of Any Leaking Device), Extended Version
published pages: 1263-1297, ISSN: 0933-2790, DOI: 10.1007/s00145-018-9277-0
Journal of Cryptology 32/4 2020-03-23
2019 Olivier Bronchain, Tobias Schneider, François-Xavier Standaert
Multi-Tuple Leakage Detection and the Dependent Signal Issue
published pages: 318-345, ISSN: 2569-2925, DOI: 10.13154/tches.v2019.i2.318-345
IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems 2019-2 2020-03-23
2018 Joseph Lange, Clément Massart, André Mouraux, François-Xavier Standaert
Side-channel attacks against the human brain: the PIN code case study (extended version)
published pages: 12, ISSN: 2198-4018, DOI: 10.1186/s40708-018-0090-1
Brain Informatics 5/2 2020-03-23
2017 Francesco Berti, Olivier Pereira, Thomas Peters, François-Xavier Standaert
On Leakage-Resilient Authenticated Encryption with Decryption Leakages
published pages: 271-293, ISSN: 2519-173x, DOI: 10.13154/tosc.v2017.i3.271-293
IACR Transactions on Symmetric Cryptology Vol. 2017, n°3 2019-06-11
2018 Amir Moradi, Bastian Richter, Tobias Schneider, François-Xavier Standaert
Leakage Detection with the x2-Test
published pages: 209-237, ISSN: 2569-2925, DOI:
IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems Vol. 2018, N°1 2019-06-11
2017 Romain Poussier, François-Xavier Standaert, Sylvain Guilley
Connecting and Improving Direct Sum Masking and Inner Product Masking
published pages: 123-141, ISSN: , DOI:
Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10728 2019-06-11
2018 Dahmun Goudarzi, Anthony Journault, Matthieu Rivain, François-Xavier Standaert
Secure Multiplication for Bitslice Higher-Order - Masking: Optimisation and Comparison
published pages: 3-22, ISSN: , DOI:
Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10815 2019-06-11
2018 Francesco Berti, François Koeune, Olivier Pereira, Thomas Peters, François-Xavier Standaert
Ciphertext Integrity with Misuse and Leakage: Definition and Efficient Constructions with Symmetric Primitives
published pages: 37-50, ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the 2018 on Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security 2018 2019-06-11
2018 Sebastian Faust, Vincent Grosso, Santos Merino Del Pozo, Clara Plaglialonga, François-Xavier Standaert
Composable Masking Schemes in the Presence of Physical Defaults & the Robust Probing Model
published pages: 89-120, ISSN: 2569-2925, DOI:
IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems vol. 2018, n°3 2019-06-11
2017 A. Adam Ding, Liwei Zhang, François Durvaux, François-Xavier Standaert, Yunsi Fei
Towards Sound and Optimal Leakage Detection Procedure
published pages: 105-122, ISSN: , DOI:
Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10728 2019-06-11
2017 Josep Balasch, Sebastian Faust, Benedikt Gierlichs, Clara Pglialonga, François-Xavier Standaert
Consolidating Inner Product Masking
published pages: 724-754, ISSN: , DOI:
Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10624 2019-06-11
2018 Vincent Grosso, François-Xavier Standaert
Masking Proofs are Tight and How to Exploit it in Security Evaluations
published pages: 385-412, ISSN: , DOI:
Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10821 2019-06-11

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