I am really not much of a crypto guy so I don't really get how a differential power analysis on AES works.
Can somebody explain it to me how it basically works?
I'm not an expert yet, but this is how I remember it.
DPA or differential power analysis is a side-channel attack on hardware implementations of cryptographic algorithm.
All electronic circuits consume different amount of power depending on the activity of individual transistors. For example, more transistors may switch when adding the hexadecimal bytes A7 to B9 than when adding 01 to 00.
When attacker connects something like AES protected memory card to a machine that allows him to gather very precise information about it's power usage he can, after having enough measurements, statistically guess some things that he was not supposed to know and brake chosen-plaintext attack security. That way (given enough time) attacker will guess the key faster then using exhaustive search (brute force algorithm)