Side channel analysis of SPARX-64/128: Cryptanalysis and countermeasures

Sumesh Manjunath Ramesh, Hoda AlKhzaimi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


SPARX family of lightweight block cipher was introduced in Asiacrypt 2016. The family consists of three variants (a) SPARX-64/128, (b) SPARX-128/128 and (c) SPARX-128/256. In this work, first, we propose a technique to perform Correlation Power Analysis (CPA) on the SPARX-64/128 cipher. Our technique uses a combination of first-order, second-order and modulo addition CPA methods. Using our proposed technique we extract 128 key bits of SPARX-64/128 cipher with low complexities in general; key guess complexity of 2 12 and 65000 ≈ 2 16 power traces. We initially propose a countermeasure of SPARX-64/128 block cipher against side-channel attacks in terms of power analysis, a threshold implementation based on a serialized design of SPARX-64/128 core. The serialized design of SPARX-64/128 core is implemented in hardware and occupies 60 slices in FPGA. As a countermeasure, this serialized implementation is extended to propose a provably secure threshold implementation of SPARX-64/128 core (TI-SPARX). The TI-SPARX core occupies 131 slices in FPGA and runs at 144 MHz thus, giving a throughput of 9 Mbps. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first side channel attack and countermeasure result on SPARX-64/128 cipher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Cryptology – AFRICACRYPT 2019 - 11th International Conference on Cryptology in Africa, Proceedings
EditorsJohannes Buchmann, Abderrahmane Nitaj, Tajjeeddine Rachidi
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783030236953
StatePublished - 2019
Event11th International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques in africa, Africacrypt 2019 - Rabat, Morocco
Duration: Jul 9 2019Jul 11 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11627 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference11th International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques in africa, Africacrypt 2019


  • Correlation Power Analysis
  • Lightweight cryptography
  • Side channel analysis
  • Threshold implementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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