Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2015/471

A Challenge Obfuscation Method for Thwarting Model Building Attacks on PUFs

Yansong Gao, Damith C. Ranasinghe, Gefei Li, Said F. Al-Sarawi, Omid Kavehei, and Derek Abbott

Abstract: Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs), as novel lightweight hardware security primitives, provide a higher level security with lower power and area overhead in comparison with traditional cryptographic solutions. However, it has been demonstrated that PUFs are vulnerable to model building attacks, especially those using linear additive functions such as Arbiter PUF (APUF) and k-sum PUF as building units. Nevertheless, both APUFs and k-sum PUFs are highly desirable security primitives, especially for authentication, because they are capable of producing a huge number of challenge response pairs (CRPs) and can be easily integrated into silicon. In this paper, we actually rely on the demonstrated vulnerability of PUFs to model building attacks as well as the relative ease with which this can be achieved to develop a new parameter-based authentication protocol based on obfuscating challenges sent to PUFs and their subsequent recovery. We show, using statistical analysis and model building attacks using published approaches, that constructing a model using machine learning techniques are infeasible when our proposed method is employed. Finally, we also demonstrate that our challenge obfuscation and recovery method can be successfully used for secure key exchange between two parties.

Category / Keywords: implementation / Physical Uncloanble Function, obfuscation, model building attacks, hardware security, authentication.

Date: received 19 May 2015

Contact author: Yansong gao at adelaide edu au, damith@adelaide edu au,

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Version: 20150519:075449 (All versions of this report)

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