Researchers have found a way to use clutter to help develop digital fingerprints for electronic devices that can be unique enough to thwart even the most sophisticated hackers.
How unique are these fingerprints? Researchers believe that all possible combinations will take longer than the lifetime of this universe.
The study was recently published in an online journal IEEE access.
Researchers have created a new version of the emerging technology Physically useless work, Or PUF, which is built into computer chips.
Gauthier said these new PUFs can be part of creating security ID cards, tracking products in the supply chain, and authentication applications, where it’s important to know you’re not communicating with the wrong person.
“The Solarwinds hack The U.S. government saw that people were really thinking about how we could do authentication and cryptography, ”Gauthier said.
“We hope this can be part of the solution.”
Nolaiku Charlotte, the study’s lead author and doctoral student in physics, says the new solution benefits the smallest fabrication system available on every computer chip that uses POF in the state of Ohio.
“Even among the smallest differences between computer chips, we’ve found a lot of information that we can use to create PUFs,” Charlotte said.
These small changes – sometimes only seen at the atomic level – are used to create unique sequences of 0’s and 1’s, which field researchers call “privacy.”
Other groups have developed their own ideas of powerful PUFs, but studies have shown that hackers can attack them successfully. The problem is that existing PUFs have a limited amount of privacy, Gauthier said.
“If you have a PUF where the number is 1000 or 10,000 or one million, a hacker can learn all the secrets of a chip with the right technology and enough time,” Gauthier said.
“We believe we’ve created a way of privacy that makes it impossible for hackers to find them even if they have direct access to their computer chap.”
The key to creating a better PUF is anarchy, which Gauti has studied for decades. He noted that the disorder did not use the way other PUFs appeared in the study.
Researchers randomly created a complex network of PUFs using a random web The path of reasoning. Logic gates take two electronic signals and use them to create a new signal.
“We are using gates in a non-standard way which creates incredible behavior. But this is what we want. We are using that disobedient behavior to create a kind of relentless chaos.
The small output variability found in the chaos chip is wide. Even the smallest difference, when extended by chaos can change the full range of possible consequences – in this case the privacy that is being revealed, according to Charlotte.
“Anarchy actually expands the number of privacy found on a chip. This will probably confuse any attempt to predict privacy, ”Charlotte said.
According to Gauthier, one of the main purposes of the process is to continue the chaos on the chip. If you let it run too long, it becomes – well, very chaotic.
“We want to continue this process for a long time, which is complicated by hackers attacking and guessing. But the pattern needs to be reproducible so that we can use it for authentication, ”Gauthier said.
Researchers have calculated that they can make PUF1077 Privacy. How big is the number? Imagine that any hacker could make a cryptic estimate of 1 million seconds in microseconds. Gauthier said it would take about 20 billion years for hackers to estimate all the secrets found in the microchip from the life of the universe.
As part of the study, researchers attacked their PUF to see if it could be successfully hacked. They tried machine learning attacks with deep learning-based methods and model-based attacks – they all failed. They are now presenting their research to another research group to see if they can find a way to hack it.
Gauthier said he was hopeful that such PUFs could help develop defenses against state-sponsored hacker attacks, which are usually highly sophisticated and managed with the help of most computer companies.
Russia, for example, is suspected of supporting the Solarwinds hack, which was published in December. Report Hack Homeland Security officials have access to email accounts And the department’s cybersecurity staff.
“It’s an endless battle to bring technology that can stay ahead of hackers. We’re trying to come up with a technology that will allow hackers – no matter which supercomputer you use, your resources don’t matter.
The researchers have applied for an international patent for their PUF device.
The goal of this team is to move faster from research and faster to commercialization of technology. Gauthier and two partners recently founded Verilock with the goal of bringing the product to market within a year.
“We see this technology as a real game changer in cyberspace. For a strong PUF, the reality of this novel approach may prove unacceptable, “said Jim Northroop, CEO of Verilock.
This work was supported by the U.S. Army Department of Potomac Research, LPC through physically integral functions related to FPGA, and by the Ohio Federal Research Network, in partnership with Incomplete Technology, LLC and Ohio University, Resilient and Enhance Project. Safety UAS flight control.
Other co-authors of the study are Daniel Canada and Andrew Pomerance of Potomac Research in Alexandria, Virginia.