Advanced Cryptographic Implementations

Module Number: EI71070

Duration: 1

Semester Occurence: Summer semester

Language: English

Number of ECTS: 5


Professor in charge: Dr. Fabrizio De Santis

Amount of work

Contact hours: 45

Self-study hours: 105

Total: 150

Description of achievement and assessment methods

The final grade (100%) results from a 60 minutes written exam. The written exam allows a comprehensive assessment of students' knowledge about methods for optimizing and securing both symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic implementations against implementation attacks such as side-channel and fault attacks. Additionally, students can improve the final grade of the written exam by 0,3 credits by successful completion of homework assignments. Homework assignments will consist of research articles which will be assigned to students during the course and which they will present to the class during the exercise sessions in form of presentation slides followed by a discussion.

(Recommended) requirements

The following lectures should be successfully completed: Applied Cryptography or equivalent. Further, the following courses are recommended: “Secure implementations of cryptographic devices”, “SmartCard Lab”, and “Seminar on Security in Information Technology.


The module introduces concepts and methods for optimizing and securing state-of-the-art cryptographic implementations on embedded systems. The module is divided into the following thematic blocks:

• Implementation of symmetric cryptographic algorithms and hash functions, such as ChaCha20-Poly1305, ... • Implementation of asymmetric cryptographic procedures, such as X25519, ...

• Special topics: Discussion of current research results. For each thematic block, students will prepare a presentation on current research work as a homework and present the results to the class during the exercise sessions.

Study goals

Upon successful completion of the module, students will master advanced implementation techniques to optimize state-of-the-art cryptographic algorithms for embedded systems. Additionally, students will be able to implement advanced countermeasures to secure cryptographic implementations against implementation attacks such as sidechannel and fault attacks.


The module is offered as lectures using slides and notes on the blackboard. In the lectures, the contents will be provided in a talk with practical examples and demonstrations, as well as through discussion with the students. In each lecture, further literature will be suggested to motivate students to deepen their understanding of the methods and concepts presented in the lecture. During the exercise sessions students will be invited to present current research results assigned as homework during the course. Discussions will be held to consolidate the shared understanding to the class.

Media formats

Presentation slides, blackboard, and research papers


The following textbooks are recommended: 1. Cetin Kaya Koc, Cryptographic Engineering, Springer Verlag, 2009 2. 2. Joseph Yiu, The Definitive Guide to ARM® Cortex®-M3 and Cortex®-M4 Processors. 2013 3. Stefan Mangard, Elisabeth Oswald, Thomas Popp: Power Analysis Attacks Revealing the Secrets of Smart Cards, Springer Verlag, 2007 Further readings will be suggested during the course.