Philipp Jovanovic

Parametric Trojans for Fault-Injection Attacks on Cryptographic Hardware

Raghavan Kumar, Philipp Jovanovic, Wayne Burleson, Ilia Polian

IEEE Fault Diagnosis and Tolerance in Cryptography (FDTC), 2014


We propose two extremely stealthy hardware Trojans that facilitate fault-injection attacks in cryptographic blocks. The Trojans are carefully inserted to modify the electrical characteristics of predetermined transistors in a circuit by altering parameters such as doping concentration and dopant area. These Trojans are activated with very low probability under the presence of a slightly reduced supply voltage (0.001 for 20% Vdd reduction). We demonstrate the effectiveness of the Trojans by utilizing them to inject faults into an ASIC implementation of the recently introduced lightweight cipher PRINCE. Full circuit-level simulation followed by differential cryptanalysis demonstrate that the secret key can be reconstructed after around 5 fault-injections.