Side-Channel-Based Code-Execution Monitoring Systems: A Survey

Yi Han, Ioannis Christoudis, Konstantinos I. Diamantaras, Saman Zonouz, Athina Petropulu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Embedded devices, such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becoming targets of malware attacks with increasing frequency and catastrophic results. Physical side-channel analysis is one way to monitor a device without accessing its software and, thus, without imposing on its resources. In this article, we present a tutorial-level discussion about detecting anomalies in embedded devices during code execution using side-channel analysis. We provide the necessary background on side-channel analysis and detail the important phases of side-channel-based monitoring in existing approaches. We further provide experimental results of electromagnetic (EM)-emanation and power-consumption side channels. We expect that this article will enable signal processing researchers to better understand the issues involved in extracting side-channel signals, determine how these signals are related to the code, and leverage them for air-gapped intrusion detection. We hope that this understanding will inspire new research on side-channel modeling and characterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8653533
Pages (from-to)22-35
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Signal Processing Magazine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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