Analyzing Security Breaches of Countermeasures Throughout the Refinement Process in Hardware Design Flow

Jean-Luc Danger, Sylvain Guilley, Philippe Nguyen, Robert Nguyen and Youssef Souissi
Secure-IC S.A.S., 15 Rue Claude Chappe, Bât. B ZAC des Champs Blancs, 35510 Cesson-Sévigné, France


Side-channel and fault injection attacks are two threats on devices carrying sensitive information. Protections are thus implemented at design time. However, CAD (Computer Aided Design) tools can compromise them, in ways we detail pedagogically in this paper. Then, we explain how a simulation-based methodology allows to check for nonregression, and find problems in case some are introduced while refining the design description from RTL (Register Transfer Level) source code to GDS (Graphic Display System) stream format.

Keywords: Secure hardware, Countermeasures, CAD flow, Optimizations, Security properties setting, Security verification tool.

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