Physical Security - On the Vulnerability of Crypto. Algorithms, Architectures and Platforms

10/12/2018 - 10:00 - 11:00

The integration of billions (soon trillions) of wireless sensing, computing and communicating nodes in a so-called “Internet of Things” is a reality which considerably affect our lives. Whereas it brings breakthrough opportunities for a wide range of applications (e.g. automotive, smart grids/cities, medical implants and industrial cyber-physical systems), it serves as a concrete challenge for security, integrity and privacy. Perhaps the most challenging aspect relates to the physical-security of these devices due to their physical exposure and accessibility. Moreover, the cost of securing these devices, to-date, is simply too high for their specifications (i.e. low energy, small area, large range of activity-factor). This talk will start with discussing limitations of state-of-the-art “consensus” approaches to protect against physical attacks by adversaries which utilize side-channels (e.g. masking by secret-sharing). For example, it will be demonstrated how an adversary which is aware to the physical aspects of the devices (electronics, architecture etc.) can easily crumble the theoretical security promises of such constructions. Then, it will be shown how a close interaction between crypto. algorithms, architectures and platforms (uCs, FPGAs and ASICs) can foster considerable security- and performance-improvement of countermeasures and novelty. Finally, we discuss the most alarming class of threats, i.e. devices tempering, EM attacks and faults injection. We briefly demonstrate a unique ASIC device which was designed in the architectural level with a clear target: to resist such attacks and limit the amount of information an adversary can extract from our devices.

Itamar Levi, The Crypto-group & the Electronics Systems and Circuits (ECS) group. Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Belgium
BIU Engineering Building # 1103, Room 329