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Verifying Side-Channel Security Pre-Silicon


As security grows in importance, side-channel attacks pose a unique challenge because they rely on physical phenomena that aren’t always modeled for the design verification process. While everything can be hacked, the goal is to make it so difficult that an attacker concludes it isn't worth the effort. For side-channel attacks, the pre-silicon design is the best place to address any known ... » read more

Why Banks Should Be More Worried About Security


At about 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, Jubail Bin-Huda, a joint director of Bangladesh Bank, and a colleague went to pick up the latest Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) acknowledgement messages from the printer. When they got to the printer, they found nothing had been printed. They restarted the printer manually, but it still didn't work. They had no... » read more

Securing ICs With Information Flow Analysis


Following the data has new meaning when it comes to security. Alric Althoff, senior hardware security engineer at Tortuga Logic, talks about tracking the flow of data through a hardware design over time, including what happens with roots of trust, how this works with existing tools and methodologies, and what to think about when tracing potential security risks. » read more

Security Tradeoffs In Chips And AI Systems


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the cost and effectiveness of security in chip architectures and AI systems with with Vic Kulkarni, vice president and chief strategist at Ansys; Jason Oberg, CTO and co-founder of Tortuga Logic; Pamela Norton, CEO and founder of Borsetta; Ron Perez, fellow and technical lead for security architecture at Intel; and Tim Whitfield, vice president of s... » read more

Battling Persistent Hacks At The Flash Level


Hardware vendors are beginning to close up security vulnerabilities across a broader range of technology than in the past, a sign that they are taking potential hardware breaches much more seriously. Awareness of security flaws has been growing since the introduction of Meltdown, Spectre and Foreshadow, and more recently, the Cable Haunt attack. The general conclusion among chipmakers is tha... » read more

Hardware Attack Surface Widening


An expanding attack surface in hardware, coupled with increasing complexity inside and outside of chips, is making it far more difficult to secure systems against a variety of new and existing types of attacks. Security experts have been warning about the growing threat for some time, but it is being made worse by the need to gather data from more places and to process it with AI/ML/DL. So e... » read more

A Glossary For Chip And Semiconductor IP Security And Trust


A significant portion of electronic system vulnerabilities involves hardware. In 2015 the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE-MITRE) database recorded 6,488 vulnerabilities. A considerable proportion (43%) can be classified as software-assisted hardware vulnerabilities (see Fig. 1). The discovery of Meltdown and Spectre in January 2018 has sparked a series of investigations into hardware ... » read more

New Approaches For Hardware Security


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss a wide range of hardware security issues and possible solutions with Norman Chang, chief technologist for the Semiconductor Business Unit at ANSYS; Helena Handschuh, fellow at Rambus, and Mike Borza, principal security technologist at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (L-R) Norman Chang, Helena Handschuh, Mike Borza. Pho... » read more

Protecting Computing Systems in a Post-Meltdown/ Spectre World


When Jann Horn of Google’s Project Zero posted a detailed blog titled “Reading privileged memory with a side-channel,” it set off a firestorm of activity as the post confirmed that secret information inside a computer could be accessed via two different attacks, Meltdown and Spectre. Essentially, both attacks utilize CPU data cache timing to efficiently exploit and leak informatio... » 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

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