Information leakage via side channels is a widely recognised threat to cyber security. In particular small devices are known to leak information through physical channels, i.e. power consumption, electromagnetic radiation, and timing behaviour. In other words, the power consumed by mobile phones can reveal information about the data stored on the phone and attackers can steal this data by managing to capture the leakage. This can ultimately lead to complete security breaches in the form of data recovery.
At present, accounting for leakage requires access to a fully equipped testing lab, and skilled people to conduct side channel experiments. This makes it virtually impossible for the general developers of devices to test their implementations against leakage attacks as these labs are only available to high-end developers, such as those producing chip-and-pin cards.
The aim of the research project is to bring the skill of a testing lab to the desk of a developer of standard consumer devices, without the need for domain specific knowledge. To ensure the success of the project the research group have partnered with a leading developer of compiler toolchains, Embecosm.