Single trace analysis against HyMES by exploitation of joint distributions of leakages

Byeong Gyu Park, Suhri Kim, Seokhie Hong, Hee Seok Kim, Seog Chung Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Beginning with the proposal of the McEliece cryptosystem in 1978, code-based cryptography has positioned itself as one of main categories in post-quantum cryptography (PQC). To date, the algebraic security of certain variants of McEliece cryptosystems has been challenged many times, although some of the variants have remained secure. However, recent studies on code-based cryptography have focused on the side-channel resistance since previous studies have indicated that the existing algorithms were vulnerable to side-channel analysis. In this paper, we propose the first side-channel attack on the Hybrid McEliece Scheme (HyMES) using only a single power consumption trace. HyMES is a variant of the McEliece system that provides smaller keys, along with faster encryption and decryption speed. By exploiting joint distributions of nonlinear functions in the decryption process, we were able to recover the private key of HyMES. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work proposing a side-channel analysis based on a joint distribution of the leakages on the public-key system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1831
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2019R1A2C2088960).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Code-based cryptosystem
  • HyMES
  • Joint distribution
  • McEliece
  • Side-channel analysis
  • Single trace analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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