Authentication of Configuration Updates for Remote Field Programmable Gate Arrays with the use of Physical Unclonable Function




Salem, Fares

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Security has become a significant concern in our lives with the proliferation of connected devices and the emergence of embedded systems where the attack surface is getting wider every day. New security challenges and privacy concerns require secure solutions and designs. As a result, security across all computing layers, from the applications running on the devices down to the silicon, is required. Remote devices, including the ones that use field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), could be found in different industries, and require updates to be delivered securely over the air. The authentication of the remotely accessed devices is an essential requirement for the security of these systems to guarantee that the updates get delivered to trusted and authentic devices. This work proposes a secure authentication protocol for providing secure bitstream configuration updates to remote system-on-chip (SoC) FPGA devices. This is enabled using public-key cryptography and physical unclonable functions (PUF) embedded in the FPGAs that are used as the system’s hardware root-of-trust (HRoT), enabling on-demand secure cryptographic key generation, authentication, and secure session key exchange.