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Correlation electromagnetic attack on PRESENT lightweight block cipher

PUBLISHED March 17, 2023 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.54985/peeref.2303p7689212)



Nilupulee Gunathilake1 , Owen Lo1 , Ahmed Al-Dubai1 , William Buchanan1
  1. Edinburgh Napier University

Conference / event

Scottish Informatics & Computer Science Alliance Research Conference 2021, September 2021 (Virtual)

Poster summary

Lightweight cryptography is a novel diversion from conventional cryptography that targets internet-of-things (IoT) platform due to resource constraints. In comparison, it offers smaller cryptographic primitives such as shorter key sizes, block sizes and lesser energy drainage. PRESENT is a promising lightweight block cipher to be included in IoT devices in the near future. Thus, the emphasis of this paper is on lightweight cryptology, and our investigation shows the unavailability of a correlation electromagnetic analysis (CEMA) of it. Hence, in an effort to fill in this research gap, we opted to investigate the capabilities of CEMA against the PRESENT algorithm. This work aims to determine the probability of secret key leakage with a minimum number of electromagnetic (EM) waveforms possible. The process initially started from a simple EM analysis (SEMA) and gradually enhanced up to a CEMA. Our current results indicate a probability of leaking seven bytes of the key.


IoT, Lightweight cryptanalysis, Side-channel attacks, Electromagnetic side-channel analysis, Correlation electromagnetic analysis (CEMA)

Research areas

Computer and Information Science , Physics, Energy Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering


No data provided


  1. School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment

Supplemental files

No data provided

Additional information

Competing interests
No competing interests were disclosed.
Data availability statement
The datasets generated during and / or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Creative Commons license
Copyright © 2023 Gunathilake et al. This is an open access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Gunathilake, N., Lo, O., Al-Dubai, A., Buchanan, W. Correlation electromagnetic attack on PRESENT lightweight block cipher [not peer reviewed]. Peeref 2023 (poster).
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