DOI: 10.1002/cta.3962 ISSN: 0098-9886

A novel SM4 cryptographic architecture against higher order power analysis attacks

Nengyuan Sun, Wenrui Liu, Jiafeng Cheng, Zhaokang Peng, Chunyang Wang, Caiban Sun, Heng Sha, Zhiyuan Pan, Ming Jin, Hongyang Zhao, Jinghe Wang, Yiming Wen, Pengliang Kong, Yunfeng Zhao, Yaoqiang Wang, Selcuk Kose, Weize Yu
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


In this letter, a novel secret merchant‐4 (SM4) cryptographic circuit implementation is proposed against higher order power analysis attacks (PAAs). Four different random number generators (RNGs) are embedded into the SM4 architecture for breaking the correlation between the processed data and monitored power dissipation against PAAs. Firstly, fake keys are created by the first RNG to scramble the critical information related with the actual secret key. Furthermore, the second RNG controls the implementations of substitution boxes (Sboxes) with composite fields or look‐up tables randomly while the third RNG randomizes the substitution locations with respect to these Sboxes. Ultimately, the fourth RNG randomly swaps the behaviors of the fake SM4 and true SM4 to further break the critical correlation. Under the assistance of the four embedded RNGs, the proposed SM4 cryptographic architecture is capable of resisting against fourth‐order PAAs effectively with a 300 Mbps throughput and 165,354 m2 area after synthesizing in the TSMC 90 nm process design kits (PDK).

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