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 Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>