CHES 2021

September 12–15, 2021 (tentative)

Virtual Conference

CHES Challenge

Since 2015, a crypto-engineering CTF is organized every year in cooperation with CHES. Former editions have focused on practical side-channel attacks, design of countermeasures, deep learning-based attacks, and white-box cryptography.

This year the CHES Challenge has two tracks:


Modern computer systems are becoming increasingly faster and interconnected with each generation. Given the increased demand for security and privacy, various security mechanisms, cryptographic algorithms and protocols are now being directly implemented in hardware. Thus, computing platforms are growing in complexity and capability, with an growing number of security vulnerabilities being an unintended by-product. Although the semiconductor industry employs a combination of verification techniques to ensure the security of System-on-Chip (SoC) designs, a growing number of increasingly sophisticated attacks are starting to exploit cross-layer security-critical hardware vulnerabilities. These attacks leverage subtle interactions between hardware and software, as recently demonstrated through a series of real-world exploits that affected all major hardware vendors.

HACK@CHES'21 is the CHES-sequel of the world’s largest hardware security competition HACK@Event franchise. Since 2018, HACK@Event has been conducted on top notch conferences such as Design Automation Conference (DAC) and USENIX Security with enormous success.  HACK@CHES'21 competition concerns the identification and exploitation of hardware vulnerabilities, including cryptographic hardware. Particularly, it will focus on incorrect usage of cryptographic primitives; unspecified behaviors; and incorrect assumptions, specifications and implementations. We will provide a "vulnerable" SoC to the competing teams. The competition will be held in two stages---Selection and Final---both online. The selection round will help screen the participants and will happen over two months. The top-performing teams will proceed to the final round, which will happen over 48 hours right before the CHES conference.

The winners of the challenge will be awarded with fame and a $2000 cash prize.

For more information, please visit the HACK@CHES 2021 website:

WhibOx Contest 2021

The WhibOx contest is back for a 3rd edition, this time focusing on public-key white-box cryptography.

You think you can obfuscate an ECDSA signature implementation and make its secret key hard to extract? You'd like to break white-box ECDSA candidates? This challenge is made for you!

The WhibOx contest, edition 2021, is a white-box cryptography competition organized as one of the CHES 2021 challenges. The contest will take place from mid May to mid September 2021.

As previous editions, the competition challenges two categories of competitors:

Contestants are free to remain anonymous. Coders are not expected to explain their designs, but only to provide a C source code of the white-box implementation. Attackers are not expected to explain their techniques, but only to recover embedded key(s).

The winners of the challenge will be awarded with fame and a $2000 cash prize.

For more information, please visit the WhibOx Contest 2021 website:

Who to Contact