Leti_Safe Microchip_Photos

Leti backside shield protects microchips from physical attacks

March 9, 2017

Grenoble, France. Leti, a research institute of CEA Tech, has announced it has developed a shield that can help protect electronic devices against physical attacks from the chips’ backside. ICs embedded in connected objects, smart cards, or other systems dealing with sensitive data would benefit from this technology, which brings more privacy, safety, and security to users.

Physical attacks may occur when hackers have access to the device and can exploit weaknesses of the embedded IC to steal sensitive information or to corrupt its functioning. The shield proposed by Leti protects chips from invasive and semi-invasive attacks by infrared lasers, focused ion beams (FIB), chemicals, and other means.

The shield consists of a metal serpentine sandwiched between two polymers, one being opaque to infrared and serving as a physical barrier against FIB attacks. It also hides the design of the chips’ interconnect and combines with the polymer underneath to detect chemical attacks. Altering the serpentine typically triggers the IC to delete sensitive data.

The shield is fabricated using standard packaging processes, demonstrating that hardware cybersecurity can be implemented at low additional cost. Leti’s research results is being presented at this week’s Device Packaging Conference in Fountain Hills, AZ, in a paper entitled “Backside Shield against Physical Attacks for Secure ICs.”

“Implementation of multiple hardware and software countermeasures is making integrated circuits more secure, but the backside of a chip is still considered to be vulnerable to physical attacks,” said Alain Merle, Leti’s security strategic marketing manager. “Our team designed, fabricated, and tested a novel protection structure combining several elements that will trigger an alert if hackers use the backside of a chip to access the active parts of the IC.”

www.leti-cea.com

@CEA_Leti

Sponsored Recommendations

TTI Transportation Resource Center

April 8, 2024
From sensors to vehicle electrification, from design to production, on-board and off-board a TTI Transportation Specialist will help you keep moving into the future. TTI has been...

Cornell Dubilier: Push EV Charging to Higher Productivity and Lower Recharge Times

April 8, 2024
Optimized for high efficiency power inverter/converter level 3 EV charging systems, CDE capacitors offer high capacitance values, low inductance (< 5 nH), high ripple current ...

TTI Hybrid & Electric Vehicles Line Card

April 8, 2024
Components for Infrastructure, Connectivity and On-board Systems TTI stocks the premier electrical components that hybrid and electric vehicle manufacturers and suppliers need...

Bourns: Automotive-Grade Components for the Rough Road Ahead

April 8, 2024
The electronics needed for transportation today is getting increasingly more demanding and sophisticated, requiring not only high quality components but those that interface well...

Comments

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!