Hardware Trojans in Emerging Non-Volatile Memories

Mohammad Nasim Imtiaz Khan, Karthikeyan Nagarajan, Swaroop Ghosh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Emerging Non-Volatile Memories (NVMs) possess unique characteristics that make them a top target for deploying Hardware Trojan. In this paper, we investigate such knobs that can be targeted by the Trojans to cause read/write failure. For example, NVM read operation depends on clamp voltage which the adversary can manipulate. Adversary can also use ground bounce generated in NVM write operation to hamper another parallel read/write operation. We have designed a Trojan that can be activated and deactivated by writing a specific data pattern to a particular address. Once activated, the Trojan can couple two predetermined addresses and data written to one address (victim's address space) will get copied to another address (adversary's address space). This will leak sensitive information e.g., encryption keys. Adversary can also create read/write failure to predetermined locations (fault injection). Simulation results indicate that the Trojan can be activated by writing a specific data pattern to a specific address for 1956 times. Once activated, the attack duration can be as low as 52.4μs and as high as 1.1ms (with reset-enable trigger). We also show that the proposed Trojan can scale down the clamp voltage by 400mV from optimum value which is sufficient to inject specific data-polarity read error. We also propose techniques to inject noise in the ground/power rail to cause read/write failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages396-401
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783981926323
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2019
Event22nd Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019 - Florence, Italy
Duration: Mar 25 2019Mar 29 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019

Conference

Conference22nd Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019
CountryItaly
CityFlorence
Period3/25/193/29/19

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Control and Optimization

Cite this

Imtiaz Khan, M. N., Nagarajan, K., & Ghosh, S. (2019). Hardware Trojans in Emerging Non-Volatile Memories. In Proceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019 (pp. 396-401). [8714843] (Proceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2019). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.23919/DATE.2019.8714843