Channel coding for hardware-intrinsic security

Sven Müelich, Universität Ulm
Hardware-intrinsic security studies cryptographic methods, whose implementations are assisted by some specific physical properties of the hardware on which they are executed. Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) are a predominant part of that field and currently an active research area. The most investigated type of PUF is the so-called silicon PUF, representing an electronic device, which is embedded in an integrated circuit (IC) with some cryptographic functions. PUFs are used to generate a
more » ... sed to generate a highly secret, time-invariant, true random bit sequence, referred to as PUF response. This randomly generated PUF response is unique for each individual PUF device and can easily be reproduced on request inside the IC over its entire lifetime. The PUF response is derived from the inherent randomness of some physical properties occurring from variations in the IC manufacturing process. These variations cannot be controlled with todays technologies. For example, the propagation delay of logic gates or the initialization state of memory cells can be used in order to generate a PUF response. Since such behaviors cannot be controlled, it is extremely unlikely to produce two PUFs with the same response. This is the reason why PUFs are called unclonable. Even the IC manufacturer cannot predict the individual response of an embedded PUF without performing a readout after IC manufacturing. If the IC manufacturer prevents the possibility to readout a PUF response in any way, not even by using any kind of IC tampering, the PUF response becomes secret to everyone. Since PUFs can be interpreted as highly secret, true random bit sources, they are predestined for a variety of cryptographic applications such as, for example, secret key generation and storage, identification and authentication of various entities. A PUF response exists in its binary form only for a very short active time period during execution of the cryptographic function in which it is involved. Otherwise, in predominantly inactive periods, it is hidden in its analog form [...]
doi:10.18725/oparu-33422 fatcat:4x6c5y3j3rho7de3wcmfniocce