Physical Fault Injection and Side-Channel Attacks on Mobile Devices: A Comprehensive Analysis

Carlton Shepherd, Konstantinos Markantonakis, Nico Van Heijningen, Driss Aboulkassimi, Clement Gaine, Thibaut Heckmann, David Naccache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Downloads (Pure)


Today's mobile devices contain densely packaged system-on-chips (SoCs) with multi-core, high-frequency CPUs and complex pipelines. In parallel, sophisticated SoC-assisted security mechanisms have become commonplace for protecting device data, such as trusted execution environments, full-disk and file-based encryption. Both advancements have dramatically complicated the use of conventional physical attacks, requiring the development of specialised attacks. In this survey, we consolidate recent developments in physical fault injections and side-channel attacks on modern mobile devices. In total, we comprehensively survey over 50 fault injection and side-channel attack papers published between 2009-2021. We evaluate the prevailing methods, compare existing attacks using a common set of criteria, identify several challenges and shortcomings, and suggest future directions of research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102471
JournalComputers and Security
Early online date17 Sept 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Sept 2021

Cite this