Trusted software engine and PCB design for data consistency checking of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware

DelVecchio, Raymond
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University of Delaware
Recent trends in technology have pushed the majority of ASIC fabrication overseas. This high volume market leaves devices vulnerable to attack by adversaries who could potentially alter the design at the hardware level while at the foundry. This type of emerging threat, known as a hardware Trojan, can leave mission critical government or financial systems vulnerable to attacks that can lead to system failure. For much of the previous decade, software was the main focus of computer security, but the past few years have ushered in a new wave of hardware security research to safeguard against such attacks. This thesis provides insight into how hardware Trojans are classified, in addition to providing examples of exploits that can lead to sensitive information leakage in an encryption system. A Trojan detection system is proposed for a COTS AES encryption component, which is accompanied by a modular stacked PCB design to implement such a system.