October 27, 2021

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Fault-Injection Attacks against NIST’s Post-Quantum Cryptography Round 3 KEM Candidates, by Keita Xagawa and Akira Ito and Rei Ueno and Junko Takahashi and Naofumi Homma

We investigate __all__ NIST PQC Round 3 KEM candidates from the viewpoint of fault-injection attacks: Classic McEliece, Kyber, NTRU, Saber, BIKE, FrodoKEM, HQC, NTRU Prime, and SIKE. All KEM schemes use variants of the Fujisaki-Okamoto transformation, so the equality test with re-encryption in decapsulation is critical.

We survey effective key-recovery attacks when we can skip the equality test. We found the existing key-recovery attacks against Kyber, NTRU, Saber, FrodoKEM, HQC, one of two KEM schemes in NTRU Prime, and SIKE. We propose a new key-recovery attack against the other KEM scheme in NTRU Prime. We also report an attack against BIKE that leads to leakage of information of secret keys.

The open-source pqm4 library contains all KEM schemes except Classic McEliece and HQC. We show that giving a single instruction-skipping fault in the decapsulation processes leads to skipping the equality test __virtually__ for Kyber, NTRU, Saber, BIKE, and SIKE. We also report the experimental attacks against them. We also report the implementation of NTRU Prime allows chosen-ciphertext attacks freely and the timing side-channel of FrodoKEM reported in Guo, Johansson, and Nilsson (CRYPTO 2020) remains, while there are no such bugs in their NIST PQC Round 3 submissions.