New Type Of Hardware Trojans Based On Logic Locking


A technical paper titled “Logic Locking based Trojans: A Friend Turns Foe” was published by researchers at University of Maryland and University of Florida.


“Logic locking and hardware Trojans are two fields in hardware security that have been mostly developed independently from each other. In this paper, we identify the relationship between these two fields. We find that a common structure that exists in many logic locking techniques has desirable properties of hardware Trojans (HWT). We then construct a novel type of HWT, called Trojans based on Logic Locking (TroLL), in a way that can evade state-of-the-art ATPG-based HWT detection techniques. In an effort to detect TroLL, we propose customization of existing state-of-the-art ATPG-based HWT detection approaches as well as adapting the SAT-based attacks on logic locking to HWT detection. In our experiments, we use random sampling as reference. It is shown that the customized ATPG-based approaches are the best performing but only offer limited improvement over random sampling. Moreover, their efficacy also diminishes as TroLL’s triggers become longer, i.e., have more bits specified). We thereby highlight the need to find a scalable HWT detection approach for TroLL.”

Find the technical paper here. Published September 2023 (preprint).

Liu, Yuntao, Aruna Jayasena, Prabhat Mishra, and Ankur Srivastava. “Logic Locking based Trojans: A Friend Turns Foe.” arXiv preprint arXiv:2309.15067 (2023).

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