Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2021/055

Tech Report: Inerial HSMs Thwart Advanced Physical Attacks

Jan Sebastian Götte and Björn Scheuermann

Abstract: In this tech report, we introduce a novel countermeasure against physical attacks: Inertial hardware security modules (iHSMs). Conventional systems have in common that they try to detect attacks by crafting sensors responding to increasingly minute manipulations of the monitored security boundary or volume. Our approach is novel in that we reduce the sensitivity requirement of security meshes and other sensors and increase the complexity of any manipulations by rotating the security mesh or sensor at high speed—thereby presenting a moving target to an attacker. Attempts to stop the rotation are easily monitored with commercial MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes. Our approach leads to a HSM that can easily be built from off-the-shelf parts by any university electronics lab, yet offers a level of security that is comparable to commercial HSMs.

Category / Keywords: implementation / hardware security, electronic commerce and payment, implementation, key management, hardware security modules, smart cards

Date: received 14 Jan 2021

Contact author: hiig at jaseg de

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: This tech report is the abridged version of our forthcoming paper.

Version: 20210118:081732 (All versions of this report)

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