TitleCircumventing a Ring Oscillator Approach to FPGA-Based Hardware Trojan Detection
Publication TypeConference Papers
AuthorsRilling, J., D. Graziano, J. Hitchcock, T. Meyer, X. Wang, P. Jones, and J. Zambreno
Conference NameProceedings of the International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD)
Date PublishedOctober

Ring oscillators are commonly used as a locking mechanism that binds a hardware design to a specific area of silicon within an integrated circuit (IC). This locking mechanism can be used to detect malicious modifications to the hardware design, also known as a hardware Trojan, in situations where such modifications result in a change to the physical placement of the design on the IC. However, careful consideration is needed when designing ring oscillators for such a scenario to guarantee the integrity of the locking mechanism. This paper presents a case study in which flaws discovered in a ring oscillator-based Trojan detection scheme allowed for the circumvention of the security mechanism and the implementation of a large and diverse set of hardware Trojans, limited only by hardware resources.

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