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Reverse Engineering of Integrated Circuits: Tools and Techniques

by   Abhijitt Dhavlle, et al.
George Mason University

Consumer and defense systems demanded design and manufacturing of electronics with increased performance, compared to their predecessors. As such systems became ubiquitous in a plethora of domains, their application surface increased, thus making them a target for adversaries. Hence, with improved performance the aspect of security demanded even more attention of the designers. The research community is rife with extensive details of attacks that target the confidential design details by exploiting vulnerabilities. The adversary could target the physical design of a semiconductor chip or break a cryptographic algorithm by extracting the secret keys, using attacks that will be discussed in this thesis. This thesis focuses on presenting a brief overview of IC reverse engineering attack and attacks targeting cryptographic systems. Further, the thesis presents my contributions to the defenses for the discussed attacks. The globalization of the Integrated Circuit (IC) supply chain has rendered the advantage of low-cost and high-performance ICs in the market for the end users. But this has also made the design vulnerable to over production, IP Piracy, reverse engineering attacks and hardware malware during the manufacturing and post manufacturing process. Logic locking schemes have been proposed in the past to overcome the design trust issues but the new state-of-the-art attacks such as SAT has proven a larger threat. This work highlights the reverse engineering attack and a proposed hardened platform along with its framework.


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