Implementing Hardware Trojans: Experiences from a Hardware Trojan Challenge

Georg T. Becker, Ashwin Lakshminarasimhan, Lang Lin, Sudheendra Srivathsa, Vikram B. Suresh, Wayne Burelson

29th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (Invited Paper), ICCD 2011, Amherst, USA, October 2011


Hardware Trojans have become a growing concern in the design of secure integrated circuits. In this work, we present a set of novel hardware Trojans aimed at evading detection methods, designed as part of the CSAW Embedded System Challenge 2010. We introduced and implemented unique Trojans based on side-channel analysis that leak the secret key in the reference encryption algorithm. These side-channel-based Trojans do not impact the functionality of the design to minimize the possibility of detection. We have demonstrated the statistical analysis approach to attack such Trojans. Besides, we introduced Trojans that modify either the functional behavior or the electrical characteristics of the reference design. Novel techniques such as a Trojan draining the battery of a device do not have an immediate impact and hence avoid detection, but affect the long term reliability of the system.