SilGeo: A Method for the Detection of Counterfeit, Compromised, or Tampered Electronic Devices
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Modern technological devices, ranging from the pedestrian smartphone to the highly specialized pacemaker, are increasingly dependent on miniaturized electronic components, such as integrated circuits, to accomplish their functions. To source these essential components, manufacturers rely on a complex and fractured global supply chain of distributors, brokers, and gray market intermediaries. The precipitous rise of counterfeit, compromised, or tampered devices being found within electronic supply chains over the past decade poses a threat to the trustworthiness, reliability, and correctness of the technologies that incorporate these components. Current techniques for detecting and mitigating these supply chain threats are unreliable, time-consuming, subjective in nature, and in some instances, cause permanent damage to the component under evaluation. In response to these concerns, this thesis proposes SilGeo, a system capable of rapidly verifying the authenticity of electronic components and assemblies by analyzing the device's intrinsic physical properties. Impedance discontinuities and wave propagation characteristics within the device are measured to create a hardware fingerprint, which is then used to determine the device's authenticity. The efficacy of SilGeo at detecting counterfeit microchips was evaluated alongside existing techniques as part of a case study focusing on the commonly counterfeited FT232RL microchip. From an experiment pool containing 260 FT232RL examples obtained from 9 different vendors across the globe, SilGeo was able to determine the authenticity of each microchip with 100% accuracy, correctly identifying a total of 119 counterfeit devices in the experiment pool.
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Philippe Vibien (2022). SilGeo: A Method for the Detection of Counterfeit, Compromised, or Tampered Electronic Devices. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18653