Structural transformation for best-possible obfuscation of sequential circuits

Li Li, Hai Zhou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Obfuscation is a technique that makes comprehending a design difficult and hides the secrets in the design. An obfuscation is called best-possible if the obfuscated design leaks no more information than any other design of the same function. In this paper, we prove that any best-possible obfuscation of a sequential circuit can be accomplished by a sequence of four operations: retiming, resynthesis, sweep, and conditional stuttering. Based on this fundamental result, we also develop a key-based obfuscation scheme to protect design Intellectual Properties (IPs) against piracy. The novel obfuscation method embeds a secret key in the power-up state of IC, which is only known by the IP rights owner. Without the key, the IC still functions but its efficiency will be much degraded. Unlike existing IC metering techniques, the secret key in our approach is implicit thus it can also be used as a hidden watermark. Potential attacks and the countermeasures are thoroughly examined, and experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust, HOST 2013
Pages55-60
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 2013
Event2013 6th IEEE International Symposium on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust, HOST 2013 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 2 2013Jun 3 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust, HOST 2013

Other

Other2013 6th IEEE International Symposium on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust, HOST 2013
CountryUnited States
CityAustin, TX
Period6/2/136/3/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture

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