Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

08:00 AM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases

Athena and Rambus Cryptography Research Division Announce Solutions to Prevent Advanced Security Threats

TeraFire(R) Security IP Cores Are Now Shipping with DPA Countermeasures

Gainesville, FL – April 20, 2015 ─ The Athena Group, Inc. (Athena), a leading provider of security, cryptography, anti-tamper, and signal processing IP cores, today introduced a comprehensive portfolio of IP cores with side-channel attack (SCA) countermeasures, based on advanced differential power analysis (DPA) countermeasure approaches pioneered by Rambus Cryptography Research Division (NASDAQ:RMBS). Athena’s robust, innovative DPA countermeasure solutions deliver unprecedented tamper-resistance across a broad range of standards and performance levels for embedded applications ranging from defense to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Athena’s sophisticated DPA countermeasures are available immediately across the entire TeraFire® product line. TeraFire DPA-resistant IP cores include dedicated AES, SHA, and RNG cryptography cores as well as the embedded F5200B security microprocessor with full support for government-recommended Suite B - public key (PK), elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), AES, SHA, and RNG. These silicon-proven cores are validated to resist SCA/DPA attacks up to 1 billion traces and can be optimized for size, speed, and security level based on customer requirements. For the first time, a full set of off-the-shelf and custom IP core solutions are available for ASIC targets as well as FPGA devices from Microsemi, Altera, and Xilinx.

“DPA countermeasure solutions are critical to any tamper-resistant system,” said Michael Mehlberg, Senior Director of Business Development for Defense Solutions of the Rambus Cryptography Research division. “Until now, the difficulty and expense of producing quality DPA resistant designs has limited broad availability of robust solutions against side-channel attacks. As a long-term partner, Athena has developed a portfolio of implementations and has performed test and validation using our DPA Workstation. This combination makes them uniquely qualified to deliver proven solutions against side-channel attacks to our mutual customers.”

“Athena’s customers have pushed the envelope, asking for ever-increasing sophistication in our solutions,” said Stuart Audley, Director of Engineering at Athena. “Side-channel attack resistance is an extremely challenging problem, and Athena has invested years in testing and enhancing our solutions. We have determined that many of the published approaches to implementing countermeasures simply do not work – at all – while others have minimal resistance against SCA attacks – creating a false sense of security. So we invested heavily in our advanced design and test facility to ensure that our countermeasures are proven effective, not theoretically effective.”

DPA is a type of SCA that involves monitoring variations in the electrical power consumption or electromagnetic emissions from a target device. DPA attacks are non-invasive, easily automated, and can be mounted without knowing the design of the target device. Unlike invasive tampering, electromagnetic attacks can even be performed at a distance. As an example, attacks on cell phones have been demonstrated at a range of 30 feet. DPA countermeasures are essential to protect devices that use cryptographic keys, especially sensitive defense applications that require strong anti-tamper protection of advanced electronics and commercial devices that perform high-value processing, including mobile devices and IoT endpoints.

The advanced countermeasures of the TeraFire DPA-resistant cores provide a safe, tamper-resistant environment for use of the cryptographic keys by limiting biases in both power consumption - protecting against DPA, simple power analysis (SPA), and correlation power analysis (CPA) - and electromagnetic emissions - protecting against simple electromagnetic analysis (SEMA) and differential electromagnetic analysis (DEMA).

Athena employs a sophisticated testing methodology for DPA resistance validation that yields statistical confidence scores upon which pass/fail criteria may be established. Athena’s DPA countermeasure solutions are available in a variety of resistance and performance levels: four levels for AES, two levels for SHA, multiple performance levels and configurations for PK and ECC in both the 5200 and 6400 series security microprocessors, three performance levels in the EC Ultra ECC accelerators, and with both protocol and intrinsic DPA countermeasures in the RNG-A200, an SP800-90 true RNG.

About The Athena Group, Inc.

Athena is a leading provider of security, cryptography, anti-tamper, and signal processing IP cores to many of the world’s largest semiconductor companies, defense contractors, and OEMs, as well as emerging providers. Embedded in millions of ASIC and FPGA devices, Athena technologies enable high-value solutions where security and performance are mission critical ─ defense and aerospace, vehicle safety (V2V, V2X, telematics), networking and communications, satellites, cellular base stations, handsets, the Internet of Things (IoT), and more.

Athena’s innovative and experienced team architects best-in-class products: security microprocessors with unmatched hardware efficiency and programmable flexibility, dedicated accelerators for cryptography and security protocols, a comprehensive set of tamper-resistant security cores with SCA/DPA countermeasures developed under license from Rambus’ Cryptography Research division, highly optimized FFTs and signal processing cores for communications applications, and related technologies. For more information, visit


About Cryptography Research

The Rambus Cryptography Research division specializes in embedded security solutions to combat the worldwide threat to data integrity. Our innovative technologies span areas including tamper resistance, content protection, network security, media and payment and transaction services. Eight billion security products are made annually with our security technology, and systems designed by our scientists and engineers protect hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues every year. Additional information is available at cryptography.com


Media Contacts:

For Athena

Toni Sottak

(408) 876-4418

[email protected]


For Rambus Cryptography Research

Hilary Costa

Racepoint Global

(415) 694-6705

[email protected]



Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Former CISA Director Chris Krebs Discusses Risk Management & Threat Intel
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/23/2021
Security + Fraud Protection: Your One-Two Punch Against Cyberattacks
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5,  2/23/2021
Cybercrime Groups More Prolific, Focus on Healthcare in 2020
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/22/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Building the SOC of the Future
Building the SOC of the Future
Digital transformation, cloud-focused attacks, and a worldwide pandemic. The past year has changed the way business works and the way security teams operate. There is no going back.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
An issue was discovered in through SaltStack Salt before 3002.5. salt.modules.cmdmod can log credentials to the info or error log level.
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
In SaltStack Salt before 3002.5, eauth tokens can be used once after expiration. (They might be used to run command against the salt master or minions.)
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
An issue was discovered in SaltStack Salt before 3002.5. Sending crafted web requests to the Salt API can result in salt.utils.thin.gen_thin() command injection because of different handling of single versus double quotes. This is related to salt/utils/thin.py.
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
i-doit before 1.16.0 is affected by Stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) issues that could allow remote authenticated attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via C__MONITORING__CONFIG__TITLE, SM2__C__MONITORING__CONFIG__TITLE, C__MONITORING__CONFIG__PATH, SM2__C__MONITORING__CONFIG__PATH, C__M...
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-27
An issue was discovered in SaltStack Salt before 3002.5. The salt-api's ssh client is vulnerable to a shell injection by including ProxyCommand in an argument, or via ssh_options provided in an API request.