Embedded Systems Security: On EM Fault Injection on RISC-V and BR/TBR PUF Design on FPGA
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With the increased usage of embedded computers in modern life and the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), embedded systems security has become a real concern. Especially with safety-critical systems or devices that communicate sensitive data, security becomes a critical issue. Embedded computers more than others are vulnerable to hardware attacks that target the chips themselves to extract the cryptographic keys, compromise their security, or counterfeit them. In this thesis, embedded security is studied through two different areas. The first is the study of hardware attacks by investigating Electro Magnetic Fault Injection (EMFI) on a RISC-V processor. And the second is the study of the countermeasures against counterfeiting and key extraction by investigating the implementation of the Bistable Ring Physical Unclonable Function (BR-PUF) and its variant the TBR-PUF on FPGA. The experiments on a 320 MHz five-stage pipeline RISC-V core showed that with the increase of frequency and the decrease of supplied voltage, the processor becomes more susceptible to EMFI. Analysis of the effect of EMFI on different types of instructions including arithmetic and logic operations, memory operations, and flow control operations showed different types of faults including instruction skips, instructions corruption, faulted branches, and exception faults with variant probabilities. More interestingly and for the first time, multiple consecutive instructions (up to six instructions) were empirically shown to be faulted at once, which can be very devastating, compromising the effect of software countermeasures such as instruction duplication or triplication. This research also studies the hardware implementation of the BR and TBR PUFs on a Spartan-6 FPGA. A comparative study on both the automatic and manual placement implementation approaches on FPGA is presented. With the use of the settling time as a randomization source for the automatic placement, this approach showed a potential to generate PUFs with good characteristics through multiple trials. The automatic placement approach was successful in generating 4-input XOR BR and TBR PUFs with almost ideal characteristics. Moreover, optimizations on the architectural and layout levels were performed on the BR and TBR PUFs to reduce their footprint on FPGA. This research aims to advance the understanding of the EMFI effect on processors, so that countermeasures may be designed for future secure processors. Additionally, this research helps to advance the understanding of how best to design improved BR and TBR PUFs for key protection in future secure devices.
Cite this version of the work
Mahmoud A. Elmohr (2020). Embedded Systems Security: On EM Fault Injection on RISC-V and BR/TBR PUF Design on FPGA. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15622