University of Twente Student Theses


Modelling of Laser Attack Fault Injections on Field Programmable Gate Arrays

Nieuwenhuis, S. (2019) Modelling of Laser Attack Fault Injections on Field Programmable Gate Arrays.

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Abstract:hese days, software security algorithms are virtually unbreakable. As a result, the trend of tampering with hardware is on the rise. Hardware hacking focuses on bringing faults into a system and comparing the output of that tampered system to the output of the regular system. This Differential Fault Analysis can be used to read data streams inside of a chip. In Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), the configuration bitstream that is stored on the chip can be recovered via these attacks. Possibly revealing confidential or sensitive data about the configuration of the FPGA. The type of hardware tampering focused on in this work is Laser Fault Injection (LFI). These kinds of fault injections make use of the sensitivity of CMOS devices for charged radiation particles. Theoretically, it is possible to target single transistors using this technique, which makes it very effective. Modern technologies able to produce Static Random-Access Memory (SRAM) cells with a surface area lower than the size of a laser dot. As a result, neighbour cells could also be affected. State-of-the-art laser setups necessary for these attacks are expensive and not readily available. This work will first present an electrical simulation of a laser attack on a single SRAM cell commonly used in the configuration memory of an FPGA. This is followed up by the layout and placement of these cells in a block RAM configuration. In this configuration, the regions sensitive to a bit flip, as well as unintended effects on nearby cells have been simulated and compared to measurements.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:53 electrotechnology
Programme:Electrical Engineering BSc (56953)
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