Security is as strong as the weakest link. Mathematically strong
and protocols have been developed, which are computationally infeasible to break with current state-of-the-art technology. However, in many applications, and especially in embedded devices, it is
implementation that leaks information.
Side-channel attacks are a real threat, as they can be mounted without physical access to the device. Countermeasures require solutions at every design step: the protocol,
architecture, micro-architecture and even circuit level.
In this presentation these design steps will be illustrated with the secure co-processor design of the Thumbpod device, which is an embedded biometric fingerprint verification system.