The side-channel cryptanalysis method based on convolutional neural network (CNNSCA) can effectively carry out cryptographic attacks. The CNNSCA network models that achieve cryptanalysis mainly include CNNSCA based on the VGG variant (VGG-CNNSCA) and CNNSCA based on the Alexnet variant (Alex-CNNSCA). The learning ability and cryptanalysis performance of these CNNSCA models are not optimal, and the trained model has low accuracy, too long training time, and takes up more computing resources. In order to improve the overall performance of CNNSCA, the paper will improve CNNSCA model design and hyperparameter optimization.
The paper first studied the CNN architecture composition in the SCA application scenario, and derives the calculation process of the CNN core algorithm for side-channel leakage of one-dimensional data. Secondly, a new basic model of CNNSCA was designed by comprehensively using the advantages of VGG-CNNSCA model classification and fitting efficiency and Alex-CNNSCA model occupying less computing resources, in order to better reduce the gradient dispersion problem of error back propagation in deep networks, the SE (Squeeze-and-Excitation) module is newly embedded in this basic model, this module is used for the first time in the CNNSCA model, which forms a new idea for the design of the CNNSCA model. Then apply this basic model to a known first-order masked dataset from the side-channel leak public database (ASCAD). In this application scenario, according to the model design rules and actual experimental results, exclude non-essential experimental parameters. Optimize the various hyperparameters of the basic model in the most objective experimental parameter interval to improve its cryptanalysis performance, which results in a hyper-parameter optimization scheme and a final benchmark for the determination of hyper-parameters.
Finally, a new CNNSCA model optimized architecture for attacking unprotected encryption devices is obtained—CNNSCAnew. Through comparative experiments, CNNSCAnew’s guessing entropy evaluation results converged to 61. From model training to successful recovery of the key, the total time spent was shortened to about 30 min, and we obtained better performance than other CNNSCA models.