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Authenticating Untrusted COTS Integrated Circuits (Internal Project 2013)

Project Description:
The objectives of the proposed project are to investigate mechanisms to enable trusted communication between components in an embedded system and also to prevent COTS parts from being replaced in the field. We assume that when the system is assembled, that the COTS parts are tested and verified as to the basic functionality, but it is still impossible to fully trust a COTS part. Given that we will have untrusted COTS parts, it becomes critical to provide mechanisms to enable trusted communications between these COTS parts and parts that we may trust such as the processor. The second objective focuses on detecting when parts (trusted and untrusted) have been replaced in the field. The goal is to prevent users/hackers form subverting security mechanisms or to engineering a cloned system. In support of these two objectives, we focus on three problems: (1) uniquely identifying components, (2) authenticating components, and (3) validating communication channels.

Project Duration:
Oct. 1, 2013 – Oct. 1, 2015

Deliverables:
Year 1 (Due October 1, 2014): Report on our preliminary investigation of different types of COTS, their unique properties and physical features; Unique identification and authentication techniques for COTS components.

Year 2 (Due October 1, 2015): Methods and techniques to validate communications with entrusted COTS components. Implementation of our three tasks on an open source hardware system such as Beagle Board or a commercial reverse engineered system such as a router or STB; Final report on the methods and the results obtained from our implementations.

Principal Investigators:
Prof. J.A. Chandy, UTC Associate Professor in Engineering Innovation and Associate Head, ECE Department, UConn
Prof. Z. Shi, Associate Professor, CSE Department, UConn
Prof. M. Tehranipoor, Charles H. Kanpp Associate Professor, ECE Department, UConn

Student(s):

Presentations:

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