Lucky Thirteen: Breaking the TLS and DTLS Record Protocols


The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol aims to provide confidentiality and integrity of data in transit across untrusted networks. TLS has become the de facto secure protocol of choice for Internet and mobile applications. DTLS is a variant of TLS that is growing in importance. In this paper, we present distinguishing and plaintext recovery attacks against TLS and DTLS. The attacks are based on a delicate timing analysis of decryption processing in the two protocols. We include experimental results demonstrating the feasibility of the attacks in realistic network environments for several different implementations of TLS and DTLS, including the leading OpenSSL implementations. We provide countermeasures for the attacks. Finally, we discuss the wider implications of our attacks for the cryptographic design used by TLS and DTLS.
Authors: Nadhem J. AlFardan and Kenneth G. Paterson

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