Power Analysis & Glitch Attacks with the ChipWhisperer® 2-Days with ChipWhisperer® for Power Analysis & Glitching

06 November 2017 - 07 November 2017
Hosted by
Bently Reserve
301 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA, 94111
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Colin O'Flynn

Course Description

Side-Channel Power Analysis - that freaky method of extracting secret keys from embedded systems that doesn’t rely on exploits or coding errors. It can be used to read out an AES-128 key in less than 60 seconds from a standard implementation on a small microcontroller. Are your products vulnerable to such an attack? This course is loaded with hands-on examples to teach you not only about the attacks and theories, but how to apply them.

The course uses the open-source ChipWhisperer project (www.chipwhisperer.com) for both hardware & software tools, meaning attendees can immediately take the knowledge learned in this course and apply it in real life. The course includes a ChipWhisperer-Lite, so students walk away with the hands-on hardware used during the lab.

During the two-day course, topics covered will include: theory behind side-channel power analysis, measuring power in existing systems, setting up the ChipWhisperer hardware & software, several demonstrated attacks and labs, understanding and demonstration glitch attacks, and analyzing your own hardware.

Side Channel Power Analysis & Fault Attacks have never been more accessible, and testing your products has never been this inexpensive or easy.


This course targets low-level embedded systems - such as 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit microcontrollers (including ARM and PowerPC). The hands-on portions will use an Atmel XMEGA but the techniques are directly applicable to other microcontrollers. These techniques are most useful when attacking systems running bare-metal or a RTOS, which could include for example the bootloader mode on an automotive MCU.


This course is aimed at anyone who has previously designed or reverse-engineered embedded systems. Students are expected to be familiar with both C and Python (in-depth experience is not required, but knowledge of general syntax and how to build programs in both).

General embedded design experience is assumed - students should be familiar with UARTs, bootloaders, bus interfaces, use of microcontroller peripherals, etc. The course does not require any specific knowledge but the course content will be most valuable to someone experienced in this area.


  • 50% lecture
  • 40% Lab
  • 10% discussion


  1. Introduction
    • Introduction, software setup.
    • What is ‘Advanced Hardware Hacking’.
  2. Simple Power Analysis & Finding Leakage
    • Simple Power Analysis (SPA) Lecture.
    • LAB: SPA for Password Bypass.
  3. Differential Power Analysis (DPA) & Leakage Detection
    • DPA Attacks on AES-128.
    • LAB: AES-128 Attack.
    • Finding Leakage.
    • LAB: Finding Leakage.
  4. AES-256 Bootloader Challenge
    • Introduction to AES-256 bootloader.
    • LAB: AES-256 Bootloader challenge/lab.
  5. Glitch Attacks
    • Introduction to Glitch Attacks & finding vulnerable parameters.
    • LAB: Glitch attacks (clock glitching) for password bypass.
    • LAB: Glitch attacks for memory dumping.
    • Voltage Glitching.
  6. Testing Real Devices
    • Lab setup, connecting to real targets.
    • Beyond 8-bit devices.
    • Attacking hardware cryptography.

What To Bring

Students MUST bring a laptop with approximately 15GB of free space. A variety of (Python-based) tools will be installed and used, which can run on Linux & Windows. To simplify the class, a VMWare image will be provided which has all tools installed, but students are free to directly install the tools on their own computer.

Students are encouraged to bring a computer with VMWare Workstation already installed to reduce setup time.

ChipWhisperer® is a Trademark of NewAE Technology Inc., registered in the U.S and Europe. Used with Permission.


$2200 (until September 4th)
$2900 (after September 4th)
Cancellation requests by paid registrants must be made at least 45 days before the event and may be subject to an administration fee. In the event of course cancellation by the trainer, students may choose to attend an alternate course (space pending) or receive a full refund.

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