A Robust SRAM-PUF Key Generation Scheme Based on Polar Codes

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Chen, Bin ; Ignatenko, Tanya ; Willems, Frans M. J. ; Maes, Roel ; van der Sluis, Erik ; Selimis, Georgios (2017)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1109/GLOCOM.2017.8254007
  • Subject: Computer Science - Information Theory
    acm: ComputingMilieux_MANAGEMENTOFCOMPUTINGANDINFORMATIONSYSTEMS

Physical unclonable functions (PUFs) are relatively new security primitives used for device authentication and device-specific secret key generation. In this paper we focus on SRAM-PUFs. The SRAM-PUFs enjoy uniqueness and randomness properties stemming from the intrinsic randomness of SRAM memory cells, which is a result of manufacturing variations. This randomness can be translated into the cryptographic keys thus avoiding the need to store and manage the device cryptographic keys. Therefore these properties, combined with the fact that SRAM memory can be often found in today's IoT devices, make SRAM-PUFs a promising candidate for securing and authentication of the resource-constrained IoT devices. PUF observations are always effected by noise and environmental changes. Therefore secret-generation schemes with helper data are used to guarantee reliable regeneration of the PUF-based secret keys. Error correction codes (ECCs) are an essential part of these schemes. In this work, we propose a practical error correction construction for PUF-based secret generation that are based on polar codes. The resulting scheme can generate $128$-bit keys using $1024$ SRAM-PUF bits and $896$ helper data bits and achieve a failure probability of $10^{-9}$ or lower for a practical SRAM-PUFs setting with bit error probability of $15\%$. The method is based on successive cancellation combined with list decoding and hash-based checking that makes use of the hash that is already available at the decoder. In addition, an adaptive list decoder for polar codes is investigated. This decoder increases the list size only if needed.
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