Digital Sensor

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Universal fully-integrated fault attack sensor

In cryptography, an attack can be performed by injecting one or several faults into a device thus disrupting the functional behavior of the device. Techniques commonly used to inject faults consist in introducing variations in the source voltage, clock frequency, temperature, or irradiating with a laser beam etc.

Unlike analog sensors which are dedicated to the detection of a specific perturbation attack, the Digital Sensor is designed to detect various threats belonging to the family of Fault Injection Attacks (FIA):

  • Input clock frequency (clock glitches, Overclocking): reduction of the clock period to provoke a critical path violation.
  • Input voltage (power glitches, underfeeding): reduction of supply voltage to increase the propagation delay of combinational logic.
  • Temperature (heating): modification of the temperature to increase the propagation delay.
  • Radiations (laser spot, light spot, Electromagnetic): provoke bit set or reset in registers by irradiation.

Digital Sensor converts all monitored stresses into a timing stress which is then measured. When a threat is detected, it provides the system with a measurement of the threat’s level and it raises the hardware alarm.

Key Features

  • Detects global and local fault injections as laser, EMFI, clock  or temperature.
  • Difficult to identify by an attacker (melted within the rest of design).
  • Real-time hardware alarm.
  • Embeds health-test to validate the integrity of the IP during the boot and on-demand.
  • Proven technology with stochastic model for reliability and security estimation.
  • Tested in the Security Science Factory Lab, using global stress (e.g., clock glitch) and local stress (e.g., electromagnetic injection).
  • Security certification ready (including Common Criteria).
  • Fully digital and designed with the standard cells library.
  • Transferable to any design kit.
  • Lightweight.
  • Customizable sensitivity.
  • Compatible with clock gating feature.
  • Several sensors can be regrouped around a unique bus interface.
  • No calibration after design.
  • Support DVFS.
  • Easy to integrate into the system.

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