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Open Access Hardware security and safety (Secafy) research streams being pursued by an international collaborative team, are all aimed at improving the resiliency of VLSI electronic devices against unwanted environmental disturbances and even against intentional side channel attacks, to create a safe and robust digitally-connected world

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At the Secafy Laboratory at Kobe University in Japan and the digital electronic system research team at Telecom ParisTech in France, researchers are pursuing multiple research streams aimed at improving the reliability, robustness and security of integrated circuits and electronic systems. Professor Nagata, Head of the Secafy Laboratory, says: 'Security and safety are in high demand in today's digitally-connected society and we believe hardware should be the root of trust on which security can rely, since it is unmodifiable.'

Projects to date include the SPACES (Security Evaluation of Physically Attacked Cryptoprocessors in Embedded Systems) I and II projects, the development of detection and mitigation strategies against malicious interference and improvements to the robustness of integrated circuits (IC) to electromagnetic and electrostatic noise. Funding is provided by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the projects are on-going.

Side channel attacks Over a remarkably short time period, almost all aspects of our lives have become partially or wholly dependent on electronic processors and software. Engine control modules manage our cars, fly by wire systems control aircrafts, large distributed networks regulate our electrical and water supplies, and manufacturing depends on programmed robotic hardware. We all carry smartphones and rely on computers and expect our devices to be fully interconnected and information available on demand. Systems are reliant on high-speed internet access and non-stop connectivity. However, our increasingly digital world and the spread of the internet of things (IoT), creates vulnerabilities, which can be leveraged by ideologically or politically motivated attackers.

In addition, the push for miniaturisation and use of compact VLSI (very large-scale integration systems) electronic packaging exposes electronic systems and the integrated circuit chips that lay at their heart to noise caused by electromagnetic and electrostatic discharges. A further threat to the integrity of electronic systems comes from refurbished or improperly designed integrated circuits and even from the deliberate integration of hardware Trojans into chips, which can be used by an attacker to infiltrate networks. All such threats have led to scientists developing increasingly sophisticated means to ensure the robustness of systems and to detect and prevent malicious attack. The approach of Professors Makoto Nagata and Jean-Luc Danger, and Associate Professor Noriyuki Miura's teams is to strengthen the design of integrated circuits by incorporating improved cryptographic engines, noise suppression technology and attack detection systems.
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Keywords: ATTACK DETECTION SYSTEMS; CRYPTOGRAPHIC ENGINES; DELIBERATE INTEGRATION OF HARDWARE TROJANS INTO CHIPS; DETECT AND PREVENT MALICIOUS ATTACK; DETECTION AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES MALICIOUS INTERFERENCE; DIGITAL ELECTRONIC SYSTEM; DIGITALLY-CONNECTED SOCIETY; ELECTROMAGNETIC AND ELECTROSTATIC DISCHARGES; INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT); NOISE SUPPRESSION TECHNOLOGY; ROBUSTNESS OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS (IC) TO ELECTROMAGNETIC AND ELECTROSTATIC NOISE; SECURITY EVALUATION OF PHYSICALLY ATTACKED CRYPTOPROCESSORS IN EMBEDDED SYSTEMS; SECURITY OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS; VLSI (VERY LARGE-SCALE INTEGRATION SYSTEMS)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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