Physical attacks are cryptanalytic attacks against physical implementations of cryptosystems that exploit some kind of information leakage from the cryptodevice during its execution (called side-channel attacks) or intentionally introduced errors to the computation (called tampering attacks). Traditional cryptographic security notions (which are mostly from the early eighties) do not provide any security guarantee against such attacks. And in fact many, if not most, cryptanalytical attacks on lightweight cryptographic devices like smart-cards or RFID-tags we've seen in the last few years were physical attacks. Not surprisingly, much research has concentrated on finding countermeasures against physical attacks. But only more recently, formal models where proposed which adapt the design principles of modern cryptography to the setting of physical attacks. That is, one requires that a cryptosystem is proven secure against all adversaries in a broad and well-defined attack scenario (as opposed to specific attacks). This research on "provable security against physical attacks" has become a very active area in the last two years. In this workshop, we for the first time brought together cryptographers working on provable security and applied research working on physical attacks.
One goal of this workshop was to make practitioners aware of the work that is currently going on in the crypto community. We've had several survey talks outlining most of the recent work. In the other direction, we've had many talks by practitioners teaching theoreticians about practical aspects of physical attacks. Besides the regular talks, we've had a rump session featuring many short talks about latest research in the amazing faculty club in Leiden.
A particularly successful event was our panel discussion on "models for physical attacks", where theoreticians and practitioners discussed the right assumptions and models of physical attacks. We learned a lot from this interaction. Many misconceptions and misunderstandings that were around were clarified.
This workshop was a success on many levels and a first follow-up meeting (with roughly one dozen people) already took place in Leuven, April 22-24th.
The Lorentz Center was an excellent setting for our workshop. The feedback from both the workshop participants and speakers was very positive! The organizers are very grateful to the Lorentz Center for helping us to organize this very interesting and productive workshop.