Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2009/255

SIMPL Systems: On a Public Key Variant of Physical Unclonable Functions

Ulrich Rührmair

Abstract: This paper theoretically discusses a novel security tool termed {\it SIMPL system}, which can be regarded as a public key version of physical unclonable functions (PUFs). Like the latter, a SIMPL system $S$ is physically unique and non-reproducible, and implements an individual function $F_S$. In opposition to a PUF, however, a SIMPL system $S$ possesses a publicly known numerical description $D(S)$, which allows its digital simulation and prediction. At the same time, it is required that any digital simulation of a SIMPL system $S$ must work at a detectably lower speed than its real-time behavior.

In other words, the holder of a SIMPL system $S$ can evaluate a publicly known, publicly computable function $F_S$ faster than anyone else. This feature, so we argue in this paper, allows a number of improved practicality and security features. Once implemented successfully, SIMPL systems would have specific advantages over PUFs, certificates of authenticity, physically obfuscated keys, and also over standard mathematical cryptotechniques.

Category / Keywords: Physical Unclonable Functions, Public Key Cryptography

Date: received 1 Jun 2009, last revised 1 Jun 2009

Contact author: ruehrmai at in tum de

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Version: 20090601:153452 (All versions of this report)

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