Graduate School and Research Center in Digital Sciences

Hardware Security

T Technical Teaching


This course offers a survey of several well-known attacks targeting specific weaknesses of hardware (microprocessors, dedicated hardware cryptographic accelerators...) For each of them the conditions of success are explained and some countermeasures are proposed.

Teaching and Learning Methods : Lectures, lab sessions 

Course Policies : Attendance to the lab sessions is mandatory


Book: Douglas R. Stinson, "Cryptography : theory and practice", CRC Press

Book: Alfred J. Menezes, , Paul C . Van Oorschot, Vanstone, A. Scott "Handbook of applied cryptography", CRC Press

Book: Stefan Mangard, Elisabeth Oswald, Thomas Popp, "Power analysis attacks : Revealing the secrets of smart cards", Springer-Verlag


Basic knowledge in C or Python programming (data types, control structures...) for the lab sessions


  • Side channel attacks: how monitoring computation time or power consumption can reveal secrets.
  • Fault attacks: how erroneous results (accidental or purposely provoked) can reveal secrets.
  • Passive and active bus probing: how sniffing communications between hardware components can reveal secrets; how injecting forged data on these communication links can lead to privilege escalation and compromise a secured system.

 Learning outcomes:

  • The main goal is to initiate students to hardware attacks, to give hints about the possible countermeasures and learn how to design more secure systems.
  • Lectures are complemented by two lab sessions during which students will experiment the impressive efficiency of hardware attacks and will try to protect the security target with appropriate countermeasures.

 Nb hours : 21.00, 2 Lab sessions (6 hours)

Grading Policy : Final exam (75%), lab reports (25%)

Nb hours: 21.00