Detecting Recycled Commodity SoCs: Exploiting Aging-Induced SRAM PUF Unreliability

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Gao, Yansong ; Ma, Hua ; Al-Sarawi, Said F. ; Abbott, Derek ; Ranasinghe, Damith C. (2017)
  • Subject: Computer Science - Cryptography and Security

A physical unclonable function (PUF), analogous to a human fingerprint, has gained an enormous amount of attention from both academia and industry. SRAM PUF is among one of the popular silicon PUF constructions that exploits random initial power-up states from SRAM cells to extract hardware intrinsic secrets for identification and key generation applications. The advantage of SRAM PUFs is that they are widely embedded into commodity devices, thus such a PUF is obtained without a custom design and virtually free of implementation costs. A phenomenon known as `aging' alters the consistent reproducibility---reliability---of responses that can be extracted from a readout of a set of SRAM PUF cells. Similar to how a PUF exploits undesirable manufacturing randomness for generating a hardware intrinsic fingerprint, SRAM PUF unreliability induced by aging can be exploited to detect recycled commodity devices requiring no additional cost to the device. In this context, the SRAM PUF itself acts as an aging sensor by exploiting responses sensitive to aging. We use SRAMs available in pervasively deployed commercial off-the-shelf micro-controllers for experimental validations, which complements recent work demonstrated in FPGA platforms, and we present a simplified detection methodology along experimental results. We show that less than 1,000 SRAM responses are adequate to guarantee that both false acceptance rate and false rejection rate are no more than 0.001.
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