Introduction to Power Analysis with the ChipWhisperer

Learn how to profile programs, measure boot times and extract cryptographic keys using ChipWhisperer.

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This course is designed as an introduction to power analysis and more broadly, side-channel analysis. This course will cover all the necessary theory and participants will get an opportunity to apply the techniques against several real-world targets. Participants will learn how to get captures or traces of cryptographic operations from a Digital Storage Oscilloscope. Participants will then get to analyze the traces of the targets and learn what is needed to apply this to real-world devices. This course will cover all of the basics of power consumption, power consumption measurements, current leakage, and side-channel analysis of power consumption. Additionally, it will provide an introduction to many aspects of hardware and embedded security. The hardware necessary for this course can be reused for other side-channel analysis classes offered through Advanced Security Training and elsewhere.

Each day will feature roughly 2 hours of theory and 4-5 of a hands-on hardware CTF to be performed by participants.

Topics covered during this course

  • Side-channel analysis theory
  • Power Analysis theory
  • Simple Power Analysis
  • Basic Differential Power Analysis
  • Test and Measurement equipment for Side-Channel and Power Analysis

Day 1

Day 1 will cover much of the theory behind power analysis, how to capture traces with the oscilloscope as well as how to visualize and analyze them on a PC.


  • Environment Setup
  • Experimental Setup
  • Shunt and Power Measurements
  • Jupyter & Python Introduction
  • Introduction to Power Analysis

Capture the Flag

  • Communicating with Target Firmware
  • Basic firmware analysis
  • Linking Power to Program Flow

Day 2

Day 2 will apply the techniques from Day 1 to exploit vulnerabilities in the firmware of the target. Students will utilize power analysis to recover secrets from the device firmware.


  • Measuring Power In-Circuit
  • Shunt measurements
  • Power Analysis for Password Bypass
  • Q&A

Capture the Flag

  • Instruction Power Differences (simulated)
  • Instruction Power Differences (measured on the hardware)
  • Power Analysis for Password Bypass

Day 3

Day 3 focuses on how changes in internal bus states affect the power consumption of the system. These changes result in measurable differences that can be exploited to recover the cryptographic states of the encryption and subsequently the symmetric keys used for encryption and decryption.


  • Known and Chosen Plain Text
  • Cryptographic states
  • Power Analysis and Data Leakage
  • Internal Data Bus States
  • Hamming Weights and Power Consumption
  • Differential Power Analysis (DPA) against AES
  • Q&A

Capture the Flag

  • Recover encryption keys a Firmware Implementation of AES

Optional Hardware Requirements

We will be capturing and distributing traces during the class. However, it is recommended that you purchase the hardware if possible. You will need ONE of the following:

No hardware is required for taking this course. For this course, it may be required to install tools on your machine or run a VM. However, we can provide you with a remote virtualized environment. To request access, please contact our chat or email support 72 hours before the start of the class to ensure we can accommodate you with all the necessary requirements.

Training by Dmitry Nedospasov

Dmitry is a hardware hacker, hardware design engineer, security researcher, speaker, and reverse-engineerer. Dmitry did his PhD in the field of IC security and PUFs.

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