Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2020/716

Signal Injection Attack on Time-to-Digital Converter and Its Application to Physically Unclonable Function

Takeshi Sugawara and Tatsuya Onuma and Yang Li

Abstract: Physically unclonable function (PUF) is a technology to generate a device-unique identifier using process variation. PUF enables a cryptographic key that appears only when the chip is active, providing an efficient countermeasure against reverse-engineering attacks. In this paper, we explore the data conversion that digitizes a physical quantity representing PUF’s uniqueness into a numerical value as a new attack surface. We focus on time-to-digital converter (TDC) that converts time duration into a numerical value. We show the first signal injection attack on a TDC by manipulating its clock, and verify it through experiments on an off-the-shelf TDC chip. Then, we show how to leverage the attack to reveal a secret key protected by a PUF that uses a TDC for digitization.

Category / Keywords: implementation / Time-to-Digital Converter, Physically Unclonable Function, Fault Injection Attack, Signal Injection Attack

Original Publication (with minor differences): IWSEC2020 (The 15th International Workshop on Security)

Date: received 14 Jun 2020

Contact author: sugawara at uec ac jp

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20200616:065613 (All versions of this report)

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