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Transient obfuscation for HLS security : application to cloud security, birthmarking and hardware Trojan defense

Abstract : The growing globalization of the semiconductor supply chain, as well as the increasing complexity and diversity of hardware design flows, have lead to a surge in security threats: risks of intellectual property theft and reselling, reverse-engineering and malicious code insertion in the form of hardware Trojans during manufacturing and at design time have been a growing research focus in the past years. However, threats during highlevel synthesis (HLS), where an algorithmic description is transformed into a lower level hardware implementation, have only recently been considered, and few solutions have been given so far. In this thesis, we focus on how to secure designs during behavioral synthesis using either a cloud-based or an internal but untrusted HLS tool. We introduce a novel design time protection method called transient obfuscation, where the high-level source code is obfuscated using key-based techniques, and deobfuscated after HLS at register-transfer level. This two-step method ensures correct design functionality and low design overhead. We propose three ways to integrate transient obfuscation in different security mechanisms. First, we show how it can be used to prevent intellectual property theft and illegal reuse in a cloud-based HLS scenario. Then, we extend this work to watermarking, by exploiting the side-effects of transient obfuscation on HLS tools to identify stolen designs. Finally, we show how this method can also be used against hardware Trojans, both by preventing insertion and by facilitating detection.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 27, 2022 - 3:52:54 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 3:05:38 AM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-03789700, version 1


Hannah Badier. Transient obfuscation for HLS security : application to cloud security, birthmarking and hardware Trojan defense. Cryptography and Security [cs.CR]. ENSTA Bretagne - École nationale supérieure de techniques avancées Bretagne, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021ENTA0012⟩. ⟨tel-03789700⟩



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