As of August 2020 the site you are on ( is deprecated, and content is now at


Jump to: navigation, search
Change header levels
If you want to get a rough idea, there is a video of the V3 of the tutorial (which differs from the V4 version). See [ Video Version on YouTube]:
== Prerequisites ==
You should have already completed [[Tutorial B2 Viewing Instruction Power Differences]] to gain a better understanding of the ChipWhisperer interface.
== Building the Target Firmware ==
The target firmware is located in the directory <code>chipwhisperer\hardware\victims\firmware\basic-passwdcheck</code>. Build the firmware using <code>make</code>, once again being careful to ensure you are using the correct <code>PLATFORM=</code> command. You should end up with something like this being printed:
-------- end --------</pre>
== Manual Communications with the Target ==
At this point, you should be able to configure the target as in the previous tutorials. Rather than tediously going through the setup process again, we'll simply use one of the scripts built into the ChipWhisperer-Capture software. This will demonstrate how we can use a script as a starting point to simplify our setup.
<li>Enter an incorrect password - notice a different message is printed, and if using the CW-Lite XMEGA target the red LED will come on.</li></ol>
== Recording Power Traces ==
Now that we can communicate with our super-secure system, our next goal is to get a power trace while the target is running. To do this, we'll get the power measurements to trigger after we send our password to the target.
== Automatic Resets ==
The last step before scripting an entire attack is to figure out how to automatically reset the target device before (or after) each capture. There are two ways to do this, and the following steps take you through two examples of how to accomplish this goal.
Auxiliary modules are small pieces of code that can perform some extra functions during the capture process. The functions inside these Python modules are run before a capture, before the power measurement is armed, before the measurement is triggered, after a single trace is completed, and after an entire capture is finished. We will use an existing auxiliary module to reset the target chip before arming the measurement so that we don't have to manually reset the device.
=== Reset via Spare IO Lines ===
TODO - see reset via programming interface for now
=== Reset via Auxiliary Module ===
<ol style="list-style-type: decimal;">
Once done, use the *Remove* button to get rid of the auxiliary module, as we are going to add it instead to our script.
== Performing the Timing Attack ==
So far, we've set up our ChipWhisperer to automatically reset the target, send it a password attempt of our choice, and record a power trace while the target processes the password. Now, we'll write a Python script to automatically try different passwords and use these power traces to discover the password stored on the target.
=== Scripting the Setup ===
Our first step will be to write a script that automatically sets up the ChipWhisperer Capture software with all of the settings we've tested above. We'll do this by modifying an existing script with our own settings.
=== Running a Single Capture ===
With our settings prepared, the next step is to use our script to record and analyze a power trace. We need to be able to get the trace data into our Python script so we can analyze it for the timing attack.
Run your script. The ChipWhisperer should automatically capture one trace and print out some datapoints.
=== Attacking a Single Letter ===
Now that we can record one power trace, we can start the timing attack. Our goal here is to automatically find the first letter of the Super Secret (tm) password.
This script will eventually stop, but you can use Ctrl+C on the command line to kill it. Make sure your script prints "Success: h"!
=== Attacking the Full Password ===
The last step is to attack the entire password, one letter at a time. The procedure to do this is:
* Start with a blank password string
* If there was a lock-out on a wrong password, the system would ignore it, as it resets the target after every attempt.
== Conclusion ==
This tutorial has demonstrated the use of the power side-channel for performing timing attacks. A target with a simple password-based security system is broken. In addition you have learned about the scripting support in the ChipWhisperer-Capture software.

Navigation menu