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Fault Injection on Digital Circuits : Modelling and Protecting against ElectroMagnetic Pulses


Keywords: Digital circuits, hardware security, electromagnetic attack

Abstract: Data protection is of fundamental importance in a growing number of domains.
This protection is usually guaranteed by cryptographic primitives such as symmetric or asymmetric encryption and hashing algorithms.
Designers must however ensure that implementations are not vulnerable to so-called hardware attacks, based for example on power consumption analysis, or on exploiting faulty results.
Among the techniques used to inject computational errors, the most common solutions are voltage and/or clock glitches, electromagnetic pulses or laser injections.
The cost and effectiveness of these techniques vary considerably from one technique to another; EM fault injection is becoming one of the most effective techniques due to its good accuracy, reasonable cost and ease of experimentation.
Nevertheless, the cost and complexity of the equipment required to mount such attacks remain higher than other active (e.g., glitching) or passive (side-channel) attacks.
This thesis aims at developing a high-level flow for modeling electromagnetic pulses in digital circuits in order to evaluate at low cost, in a security context, the potential vulnerabilities and help the designer in the evaluation and definition of adapted countermeasures.


Thesis director: Régis LEVEUGLE (TIMA - AMfoRS)
Thesis co-director: Paolo MAISTRI (TIMA - AMfoRS)
Thesis started on: Oct. 2022
Doctoral School: EEATS

Submitted on October 7, 2022

Updated on December 12, 2023