Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fingerprint makes chips counterfeit-proof

09.02.2011
Product counterfeiters are increasingly targeting chips and electronic components, with attacks on hardware modules becoming commonplace. Tailor-made security technology utilizes a component‘s individual material properties to generate a digital key. This provides components with an identity – since their unique structure cannot be copied. Fraunhofer researchers will be presenting a prototype at the embedded world Exhibition & Conference in Nuremberg from March 1 to 3.

Product piracy long ago ceased to be limited exclusively to the consumer goods sector. Industry, too, is increasingly having to combat this problem. Cheap fakes cost business dear: The German mechanical and plant engineering sector alone lost 6.4 billion euros of revenue in 2010, according to a survey by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA).


Digital fingerprint makes chips conterfeit-proof. (© Fraunhofer SIT)

Sales losses aside, low-quality counterfeits can also damage a company‘s brand image. Worse, they can even put people‘s lives at risk if they are used in areas where safety is paramount, such as automobile or aircraft manufacture. Patent rights or organizational provisions such as confidentiality agreements are no longer sufficient to prevent product piracy.

Today’s commercially available anti-piracy technology provides a degree of protection, but it no longer constitutes an insurmountable obstacle for the product counterfeiters: Criminals are using scanning electron microscopes, focused ion beams or laser bolts to intercept security keys – and adopting increasingly sophisticated methods.

No two chips are the same
At embedded world, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT will be demonstrating how electronic components or chips can be made counterfeit-proof using physical unclonable functions (PUFs). ”Every component has a kind of individual fingerprint since small differences inevitably arise between components during production”, explains Dominik Merli, a scientist at Fraunhofer SIT in Garching near Munich. Printed circuits, for instance, end up with minimal variations in thickness or length during the manufacturing process. While these variations do not affect functionality, they can be used to generate a unique code.
Invasive attacks destroy the structure
A PUF module is integrated directly into a chip – a setup that is feasible not only in a large number of programmable semiconductors known as FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) but equally in hardware components such as microchips and smartcards. “At its heart is a measuring circuit, for instance a ring oscillator. This oscillator generates a characteristic clock signal which allows the chip‘s precise material properties to be determined. Special electronic circuits then read these measurement data and generate the component-specific key from the data”, explains Merli. Unlike conventional cryptographic processes, the secret key is not stored on the hardware but is regenerated as and when required. Since the code relates directly to the system properties at any given point in time, it is virtually impossible to extract and clone it. Invasive attacks on the chip would alter physical parameters, thus distorting or destroying the unique structure.

The Garching-based researchers have already developed two prototypes: A butterfly PUF and a ring oscillator PUF. At present, these modules are being optimized for practical applications. The experts will be at embedded world in Nuremberg (hall 11, stand 203) from March 1-3 to showcase FPGA boards that can generate an individual cryptographic key using a ring oscillator PUF. These allow attack-resistant security solutions to be rolled out in embedded systems.

Dominik Merli | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sit.fraunhofer.de
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2010-2011/14/fingerprint-makes-chips-counterfeit-proof.jsp

Further reports about: Fingerprint German language PUF SIT electron microscope electronic circuit ion beam

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure
15.01.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing
10.01.2018 | University of Minnesota

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Uncovering decades of questionable investments

18.01.2018 | Business and Finance

Novel chip-based gene expression tool analyzes RNA quickly and accurately

18.01.2018 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>