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Dr. Sergei Skorobogatov at Hardwear netherlands 2020

Dr. Sergei Skorobogatov

Talk Title:

Practical reverse engineering of ECC-based authentication device with zero knowledge


Recently introduced authentication ICs based on Elliptic-Curve Cryptography (ECC) became quite popular. Unlike devices based on symmetric key cryptography they do not require sharing the same secret keys across many places. The use of asymmetric or public key cryptography eliminates the need for the verifying devices to store any private keys. In addition the public-key certificate ensures the integrity of device's ID and public key. This forces manufacturers of counterfeit devices to repeatedly extract secret keys from genuine devices, and enables vendors to control the compromise via certificate revocation lists. However, if counterfeiters find some feasible and easily repeatable way to extract secret keys from genuine devices they are likely to overcome vendor's key-revocation mechanism. In this talk the hardware security evaluation of ECC-based authentication device - Infineon Optiga Trust B - will be discussed. In spite of many countermeasures implemented it was still possible to bypass the security and find a way to completely clone the device.

The purpose of this talk is to demonstrate that good security cannot be achieved by simply limiting all information about a device. Various means and attack methods could be used to acquire essential knowledge and defeat hardware security of the device. However, sometime the way hardware and software interact between each other could introduce new attack vectors.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Sergei Skorobogatov is Senior Research Associate in the Security Group at the Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge in the UK. He has background in chemistry, electronics, physics and computers. He received PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge in 2005 and MSc degree in Physics in 1997. His research interests include hardware security analysis of smartcards, microcontrollers, FPGAs and ASICs. He pioneered optical fault injection attacks in 2001, which have influenced major rethink within semiconductor industry on the security protection of ICs and forced introduction of new evaluation procedures and countermeasures. Sergei's previous research has substantially improved side-channel attacks and optical fault injection attacks. His recent research set new standards on direct data extraction from EEPROM and Flash memory, while latest achievements demonstrated superior imaging capabilities of embedded memory. Sergei is a member of Program Committees at several major worldwide conferences on hardware security of semiconductor chips.