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A Proactive Countermeasure to Harden Integrated Circuits Against Exploitation

Award Information

Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
OSD 10-IA1
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
128 E Pine Avenue Meridian, ID -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: A Proactive Countermeasure to Harden Integrated Circuits Against Exploitation
Agency / Branch: DOD / OSD
Contract: FA8650-11-M-1060
Award Amount: $95,489.00


We propose to implement a novel countermeasure against the exploitation of integrated circuit hardware. The proposed countermeasure is applicable to both FPGAs and ASICs, increases design obfuscation and promises to block embedded hardware exploits. It also is fully compatible with virtually any other hardware exploit countermeasure and reduces forensic costs when exploits are suspected. The proposed approach is expected to be highly effective against a broad class of functional and firmware Trojans. The approach is also general enough to be effective against virtually any type of logical triggering mechanism. The CML PCI-CARMA software protection system will be used to demonstrate the principles of the proposed approach. PCI-CARMA employs FPGA-based COTS hardware, so it stands to directly benefit from the application of the proposed countermeasure. For Phase I, CML will first demonstrate hardware Trojan injection into a PCI-CARMA design. The proposed countermeasure will then be applied and its effectiveness against Trojan injection will be characterized in terms of invasiveness, false positive and false negative rates and its ability to detect small Trojans. The relative costs and benefits of the proposed approach will also be evaluated.

Principal Investigator:

Jack Meador
Principal Engineer

Business Contact:

Rick Hoover
Small Business Information at Submission:

Computer Measurement Laboratory, Inc.
128 E Pine Avenue Meridian, ID 83642

EIN/Tax ID: 260201639
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No