Taking A Closer Look At Side Channel Attacks


In last month’s Semiconductor Engineering article, we explored the basics of side channel attacks (SCAs). As we discussed, all cryptographic algorithms are subject to side channel attacks, with vulnerabilities extending across all platforms and form factors. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the two primary categories of side channel attacks: simple power analysis (SPA) and ... » read more

Understanding Side Channel Attacks


Side channel attacks (SCAs) differ considerably from conventional cryptographic attacks. Essentially, side channel attacks – which can be very low-cost and non-invasive – exploit data gathered from side channels. A side channel can be exploited by simply placing an antenna, magnetic probe, or other sensor near a device or system. This allows an attacker to measure power consumption, voltage... » read more

Layered Security Offers Best Embedded Hardware Security


The importance of building a secure and rigid foundation in SoC and system designs has never been so true as it is now, given not only the garden variety of software vulnerabilities existing today, but also micro-architectural attacks on CPUs like Meltdown, Spectre, and Foreshadow. Design engineers should embrace two security-related tenets when selecting a security processor: one is depth o... » read more

Bolstering Security For AI Applications


Hardware accelerators that run sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms have become increasingly prevalent in data centers and endpoint devices. As such, protecting sensitive and lucrative data running on AI hardware from a range of threats is now a priority for many companies. Indeed, a determined attacker can either manipulate or steal training data, inf... » read more

Securing IoT Devices With A Programmable Root Of Trust


The exponential increase of vulnerable IoT devices demands a far more determined and proactive approach to security than is offered by the current industry status quo. This is because compromised IoT devices pose a threat to both consumers and critical internet infrastructure. For example, a compromised security camera or baby video monitor can be easily exploited to violate consumer privacy... » read more

Understanding The Importance Of Silicon Security


Vulnerabilities like Meltdown, Spectre and Foreshadow are understandably considered quite serious by the semiconductor industry. This is because they can be exploited by a determined attacker to access sensitive data that should be securely locked down but isn’t. We can think about a cloud-based server running multiple applications that process and store sensitive data. Vulnerabilities lik... » read more

Multiple Roots Of Trust And Isolation: Key Roles For Absolute Security


Today, there are many different security processors available to the SoC designer. A majority have a commonality, and that is they are based on the same architecture. You can call it a two-domain architecture. One is non-secure; the other is secure with a single bit dividing the secure from the non-secure. What’s more, different applications from different entities may be running in that o... » read more

FIAs Pose Tricky Security Attacks


Voltage and clock glitching are terms crowding into the emerging lexicon of chip security attacks. These are two popular methods adversaries use that can be categorized under the umbrella of fault injection attacks (FIAs). Micro-architectural vulnerabilities like Meltdown, Spectre, Foreshadow and Spoiler have been in the limelight for months. But now, FIAs are getting more attention as the indu... » read more

Meltdown And Spectre, One Year Later


About this time last year, reports surfaced about security attacks on today’s most popular microprocessors (μPs). Researchers called them Meltdown, Spectre gaining widespread attention. Today, however, the industry and especially μP vendors have made some progress toward stemming these vulnerabilities. Here is my analysis as we enter into 2019. When it comes to these vulnerabilities, we ... » read more

What Does Cybersecurity Have To Do With Semiconductors?


More than ever, electronic devices are critical to everyday life and semiconductor chips are the brains inside the devices that run the world. They wake us in the morning, keep us up to date with the news, emails and conversations, handle our daily chores, and even keep us alive in the hospitals. For example, laptops, smartphones, the Internet, the banks, automobile controls and an endless list... » read more

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