Title page for ETD etd-09042008-155719

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Banga, Mainak
Author's Email Address banga@vt.edu
URN etd-09042008-155719
Title Partition based Approaches for the Isolation and Detection of Embedded Trojans in ICs
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hsiao, Michael S. Committee Chair
Huang, Chao Committee Member
Shukla, Sandeep K. Committee Member
  • Side-Channel Analysis
  • Power profile
  • State-space
  • Trojans
Date of Defense 2008-09-01
Availability unrestricted
This thesis aims towards devising a non-destructive testing methodology for ICs fabricated by a third party manufacturer to ensure the integrity of the chip. With the growing trend of outsourcing, the sanity of the final product has emerged to be a prime concern for the end user. This is especially so if the components are to be used in mission-critical applications such as space-exploration, medical diagnosis and treatment, defense equipments such as missiles etc., where a single failure can lead to a disaster. Thus, any extraneous parts (Trojans) that might have been implanted by the third party manufacturer with a malicious intent during the fabrication process must be diagnosed before the component is put to use.

The inherent stealthy nature of Trojans makes it difficult to detect them at normal IC outputs. More so, with the restriction that one cannot visually inspect the internals of an IC after it has been manufactured. This obviates the use of side-channel signal(s) that acts like a signature of the IC as a means to assess its internal behavior under operational conditions.

In this work, we have selected power as the side-channel signal to characterize the internal behavior of the ICs. We have used two circuit partitioning based approaches for isolating and enhancing the behavioral difference between parts of a genuine IC and one with a sequence detector Trojan in it. Experimental results reveal that these approaches are effective in exposing anomalous behavior between the targeted ICs. This is reflected as difference in power-profiles of the genuine and maligned ICs that is magnified above the process variation ensuring that the discrepancies are observable.

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