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Power/Performance Bits: May 4


Speculative execution vulnerable again Computer scientists from the University of Virginia and University of California San Diego warn of a processor architecture vulnerability that gets around the techniques used to secure processors in the wake of Spectre. In 2018, Spectre and the similar Meltdown vulnerability were announced. These types of attacks could allow malicious agents to exploit... » read more

COVID-19 And Cybersecurity: Pay Attention To Exponential Growth!


COVID-19 and cybersecurity – you may wonder what these two seemingly very different topics have in common. I would list two: Both of them are exponential in nature, which, as a society we have difficulties grappling with – making this one of the reasons for our uneven responses. Both of them require a multi-layered solution strategy that, while it does not need to be perfect, must b... » 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

Why It’s So Hard To Stop Cyber Attacks On ICs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss security risks across multiple market segments with Helena Handschuh, security technologies fellow at Rambus; Mike Borza, principal security technologist for the Solutions Group at Synopsys; Steve Carlson, director of aerospace and defense solutions at Cadence; Alric Althoff, senior hardware security engineer at Tortuga Logic; and Joe Kiniry, princi... » 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

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