SCAN CHAIN BASED HARDWARE SECURITY
SCAN CHAIN BASED HARDWARE SECURITY
Publication or External Link
Hardware has become a popular target for attackers to hack into any computing and communication system. Starting from the legendary power analysis attacks discovered 20 years ago to the recent Intel Spectre and Meltdown attacks, security vulnerabilities in hardware design have been exploited for malicious purposes. With the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) applications, where the IoT devices are extremely resource constrained, many proven secure but computational expensive cryptography protocols cannot be applied on such devices. Thus there is an urgent need to understand the hardware vulnerabilities and develop cost effective mitigation methods. One established field in the semiconductor and integrated circuit (IC) industry, known as IC test, has the goal of ensuring that fabricated ICs are free of manufacturing defects and perform the required functionalities. Testing is essential to isolate faulty chips from good ones. The concept of design for test (DFT) has been integrated in the commercial IC design and fabrication process for several decades. Scan chain, which provides test engineer access to all the flip flops in the chip through the scan in (SI) and scan out (SO) ports, is the backbone of industrial testing methods and can be found in almost all the modern designs. In addition to IC testing, scan chain has found applications in intellectual property (IP) protection and IC identification. However, attackers can also leverage the controllability and observability of scan chain as a side channel to break systems such as cryptographic chips. This dissertation addresses these two important security problems by proposing (1) a practical scan chain based security primitive for IP protection and (2) a partial scan chain framework that can mitigate all the existing scan based attacks. First, we observe the fact that each D-flip-flop has two output ports, Q and Q’, designed to simplify the logic and has been used to reduce the power consumption for IC test. The availability of both Q and Q’ ports provide the opportunity for IP protection. More specifically, we can generate a digital fingerprint by selecting different connection styles between adjacent scan cells during the design of scan chain. This method has two major advantages: fingerprints are created as a post-silicon procedure and therefore there will be little fabrication overhead; altering the connection style requires the modification of test vectors for each fingerprinted IP and thus enables a non-intrusive fingerprint verification method. This addresses the overhead and detectability problems, two of the most challenging problems of designing practical IP fingerprinting techniques in the past two decades. Combined with the recently developed reconfigurable scan networks (RSNs) that are popular for embedded and IoT devices, we design an IC identification (ID) scheme utilizing the different connection styles. We perform experiments on standard benchmarks to demonstrate that our approach has low design overhead. We also conduct security analysis to show that such fingerprints and IC IDs are robust against various attacks. In the second part of this dissertation, we consider the scan chain side channel attack, which has been reported as one of the most severe side channel attacks to modern secure systems. We argue that the current countermeasures are restricted to the requirement of providing direct SI and SO for testing and thus suffers the vulnerability of leaving this side channel open to the attackers as well. Therefore, we propose a novel public-private partial scan chain based approach with the basic idea of removing the flip flops that store sensitive information from the scan chain. This will eliminate the scan chain side channel, but it also limits IC test. The key contribution in our proposed public-private partial scan chain design is that it can keep the full test coverage while providing security to the scan chain. This is achieved by chaining the removed flip flops into one or more private partial scan chains and adding protections to the SI and SO ports of such chains. Unlike the traditional partial scan design which not only fails to provide full fault coverage, but also incur huge overhead in test time and test vector generation time, we propose a set of techniques to ensure that the desired test vectors can be entered into the system efficiently. These techniques include test vector reordering, test vector reusing, and test vector generation based on a novel finite state machine (FSM) structure we have invented. On the other hand, to enable the test engineers the ability to observe the test output to diagnose the chip while not leaking information to the attackers, we propose two lightweight mechanisms, one based on linear feedback shift register (LFSR) and the other one based on configurable physical unclonable function (PUF). Finally, we discuss a protocol on how in-field test can be realized using our public-private partial scan chain. We conduct experiments with industrial scan design tools to demonstrate that the required hardware in our approach has negligible area overhead and gives full test coverage with reduced test time and does not need to re-generate test vectors. In sum, this dissertation focuses on the role of scan chain, a conventional design for test facility, in hardware security. We show that scan chain features can be leveraged to create practical IP protection techniques including IP watermarking and fingerprinting as well as IC identification and authentication. We also propose a novel public-private partial scan design principle to close the scan chain side channel to the attackers. Through this dissertation work, we demonstrate that it is possible to develop highly practical scan chain based techniques that can benefit both the community of IC test and hardware security.