doi: 10.7873/DATE.2015.0352

A Score-Based Classification Method for Identifying Hardware-Trojans at Gate-Level Netlists

Masaru Oya1, Youhua Shi2, Masao Yanagisawa1 and Nozomu Togawa1

1Department of Computer Science and Communications Engineering, Waseda University, Japan

2Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, Waseda University, Japan


Recently, digital ICs are often designed by outside vendors to reduce design costs in semiconductor industry, which may introduce severe risks that malicious attackers implement Hardware Trojans (HTs) on them. Since IC design phase generates only a single design result, an RT-level or gate-level netlist for example, we cannot assume an HT-free netlist or a Golden netlist and then it is too difficult to identify whether a generated netlist is HT-free or HT-inserted. In this paper, we propose a scorebased classification method for identifying HT-free or HT-inserted gate-level netlists without using a Golden netlist. Our proposed method does not directly detect HTs themselves in a gate-level netlist but a net included in HTs, which is called Trojan net, instead. Firstly, we observe Trojan nets from several HT-inserted benchmarks and extract several their features. Secondly, we give scores to extracted Trojan net features and sum up them for each net in benchmarks. Then we can find out a score threshold to classify HT-free and HT-inserted netlists. Based on these scores, we can successfully classify HT-free and HT-inserted netlists in all the Trust-HUB gate-level benchmarks. Experimental results demonstrate that our method successfully identify all the HTinserted gate-level benchmarks to be “HT-inserted” and all the HT-free gate-level benchmarks to be “HT-free” in approximately three hours for each benchmark.

Keywords: Hardware Trojans, Golden-IC free, Classification, Identification, Gate-level netlist.

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