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Der Campus im Frühling.

Foto: Universität Paderborn, Kamil Glabica.

M.Sc. Qazi Arbab Ahmed

M.Sc. Qazi Arbab Ahmed

Technische Informatik


+49 5251 60-5397
Pohlweg 51
33098 Paderborn

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Proof-Carrying Hardware Versus the Stealthy Malicious LUT Hardware Trojan

Q.A. Ahmed, T. Wiersema, M. Platzner, in: Applied Reconfigurable Computing, Springer International Publishing, 2019, pp. 127-136

Reconfigurable hardware has received considerable attention as a platform that enables dynamic hardware updates and thus is able to adapt new configurations at runtime. However, due to their dynamic nature, e.g., field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) are subject to a constant possibility of attacks, since each new configuration might be compromised. Trojans for reconfigurable hardware that evade state-of-the-art detection techniques and even formal verification, are thus a large threat to these devices. One such stealthy hardware Trojan, that is inserted and activated in two stages by compromised electronic design automation (EDA) tools, has recently been presented and shown to evade all forms of classical pre-configuration detection techniques. This paper presents a successful pre-configuration countermeasure against this ``Malicious Look-up-table (LUT)''-hardware Trojan, by employing bitstream-level Proof-Carrying Hardware (PCH). We show that the method is able to alert innocent module creators to infected EDA tools, and to prohibit malicious ones to sell infected modules to unsuspecting customers.

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