Side-channel attacks and learning-vector quantization

Ehsan Saeedi*, Yinan Kong, Md. Selim Hossain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The security of cryptographic systems is a major concern for cryptosystem designers, even though cryptography algorithms have been improved. Side-channel attacks, by taking advantage of physical vulnerabilities of cryptosystems, aim to gain secret information. Several approaches have been proposed to analyze side-channel information, among which machine learning is known as a promising method. Machine learning in terms of neural networks learns the signature (power consumption and electromagnetic emission) of an instruction, and then recognizes it automatically. In this paper, a novel experimental investigation was conducted on field-programmable gate array (FPGA) implementation of elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), to explore the efficiency of side-channel information characterization based on a learning vector quantization (LVQ) neural network. The main characteristics of LVQ as a multi-class classifier are that it has the ability to learn complex non-linear input-output relationships, use sequential training procedures, and adapt to the data. Experimental results show the performance of multi-class classification based on LVQ as a powerful and promising approach of side-channel data characterization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-518
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers of Information Technology and Electronic Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Side-channel attacks
  • Elliptic curve cryptography
  • Multi-class classification
  • Learning vector quantization


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