Recovering AES Keys with a Deep Cold Boot Attack

International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML)


Cold boot attacks inspect the corrupted random access memory soon after the power has been shut down. While most of the bits have been corrupted, many bits, at random locations, have not. Since the keys in many encryption schemes are being expanded in memory into longer keys with fixed redundancies, the keys can often be restored. In this work, we combine a novel cryptographic variant of a deep error correcting code technique with a modified SAT solver scheme to apply the attack on AES keys. Even though AES consists of Rijndael S-box elements, that are specifically designed to be resistant to linear and differential cryptanalysis, our method provides a novel formalization of the AES key scheduling as a computational graph, which is implemented by a neural message passing network. Our results show that our methods outperform the state of the art attack methods by a very large margin.

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