Breaking News
Semi Conscious

Research points to vulnerability in Xilinx FPGAs

Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
User Rank
re: Research points to vulnerability in Xilinx FPGAs
UdaraW   8/6/2011 12:45:20 AM
In their paper, the researchers from Horst Gortz Institute for IT-Security claim that their was the first successful attack against the Virtex 4 and Virtex 5 FPGAs where the side-channel analysis of bit-stream encryption was utilized. While the technical vulnerability is acknowledged, the important questions is on whether a corresponding business vulnerability exists for FPGA users in it or not. The Xilinx spokesperson argues (as expected) that the attack requires a higher degree of sophistication, a high level of motivation and for the attacker to have physically access to the circuitry and therefore, the business vulnerability is minimal at present. This seems like many other claims that the vendors tend offer before a serious breach occurs. What I believe is that technical landscapes can change very very fast. For an example, side-channel attacks on the AES algorithm at the software-level is no longer a sophisticated process. In few more months, a side-channel attack on attack on an FPGA may not require the same level of sophistication and motivation as is argued. Besides, who can disregard the motivation to reverse-engineer a state-of-the-art product to steal its IP? The motivation is present all the time.

Top Comments of the Week
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
"All the King's horses and all the KIng's men gave up on Humpty, so they handed the problem off to Engineering."
Like Us on Facebook Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.
Flash Poll