Power Consumption Obfuscation

Design hardware circuits or perform obfuscation in general that mask the changes in power consumption to increase the cost/difficulty of a power analysis attack. This will increase the cost of manufacturing sensor nodes.


  • Y. Ishai, M. Prabhakaran, A. Sahai, and D. Wagner. Private circuits 2: Keeping secrets in tamperable circuits. In Proceedings of Eurocrypt, pages 308– 327, May 2006.
  • Y. Ishai, A. Sahai, and D. Wagner. Private circuits: Securing hardware against probing attacks. In Proceedings of CRYPTO, pages 463–481, 2003.
  • P. C. Kocher, J. Jaffe, and B. Jun. Differential power analysis. In CRYPTO, pages 388–397, 1999

Best Segment for Countermeasure Deployment

  • Space Segment

NIST Rev5 Controls

ID: CM0059
Created: 2022/10/19
Last Modified: 2022/12/08

Techniques Addressed by Countermeasure

ID Name Description
EXF-0002 Side-Channel Attack Threat actors may use a side-channel attack attempts to gather information by measuring or exploiting indirect effects of the spacecraft. Information within the spacecraft can be extracted through these side-channels in which sensor data is analyzed in non-trivial ways to recover subtle, hidden or unexpected information. A series of measurements of a side-channel constitute an identifiable signature which can then be matched against a signature database to identify target information, without having to explicitly decode the side-channel.
.01 Power Analysis Attacks Threat actors can analyze power consumption on-board the spacecraft to exfiltrate information. In power analysis attacks, the threat actor studies the power consumption of devices, especially cryptographic modules. Power analysis attacks require close proximity to a sensor node, such that a threat actor can measure the power consumption of the sensor node. There are two types of power analysis, namely simple power analysis (SPA) and differential power analysis (DPA). In differential power analysis, the threat actor studies the power analysis and is able to apply mathematical and statistical principles to determine the intermediate values.

Space Threats Addressed by Countermeasure

ID Description
SV-CF-2 Eavesdropping (RF and proximity)  
SV-AC-5 Proximity operations (i.e., grappling satellite)