Design Automation for Obfuscated Circuits with Multiple Viable Functions

Shahrzad Keshavarz1,a, Christof Paar2 and Daniel Holcomb1,b
1ECE Department, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA.
2Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany.


Gate camouflaging is a technique for obfuscating the function of a circuit against reverse engineering attacks. However, if an adversary has pre-existing knowledge about the set of functions that are viable for an application, random camouflaging of gates will not obfuscate the function well. In this case, the adversary can target their search, and only needs to decide whether each of the viable functions could be implemented by the circuit.
In this work, we propose a method for using camouflaged cells to obfuscate a design that has a known set of viable functions. The circuit produced by this method ensures that an adversary will not be able to rule out any viable functions unless she is able to uncover the gate functions of the camouflaged cells. Our method comprises iterated synthesis within an overall optimization loop to combine the viable functions, followed by technology mapping to deploy camouflaged cells while maintaining the plausibility of all viable functions. We evaluate our technique on cryptographic S-box functions and show that, relative to a baseline approach, it achieves up to 38% area reduction in PRESENT-style S-Boxes and 48% in DES S-boxes.

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