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Open AccessArticle

Creation and Detection of Hardware Trojans Using Non-Invasive Off-The-Shelf Technologies

Division of Cyber Security, Abertay University, Dundee DD1 1HG, UK
Department of Computer Science, Middlesex University, Mauritius Campus, Flic en Flac, Mauritius
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2018, 7(7), 124;
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 22 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open-Source Electronics Platforms: Development and Applications)
PDF [1810 KB, uploaded 22 July 2018]


As a result of the globalisation of the semiconductor design and fabrication processes, integrated circuits are becoming increasingly vulnerable to malicious attacks. The most concerning threats are hardware trojans. A hardware trojan is a malicious inclusion or alteration to the existing design of an integrated circuit, with the possible effects ranging from leakage of sensitive information to the complete destruction of the integrated circuit itself. While the majority of existing detection schemes focus on test-time, they all require expensive methodologies to detect hardware trojans. Off-the-shelf approaches have often been overlooked due to limited hardware resources and detection accuracy. With the advances in technologies and the democratisation of open-source hardware, however, these tools enable the detection of hardware trojans at reduced costs during or after production. In this manuscript, a hardware trojan is created and emulated on a consumer FPGA board. The experiments to detect the trojan in a dormant and active state are made using off-the-shelf technologies taking advantage of different techniques such as Power Analysis Reports, Side Channel Analysis and Thermal Measurements. Furthermore, multiple attempts to detect the trojan are demonstrated and benchmarked. Our simulations result in a state-of-the-art methodology to accurately detect the trojan in both dormant and active states using off-the-shelf hardware. View Full-Text
Keywords: hardware trojan taxonomy; thermal imaging; side channel analysis; infrared; FPGA hardware trojan taxonomy; thermal imaging; side channel analysis; infrared; FPGA

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Rooney, C.; Seeam, A.; Bellekens, X. Creation and Detection of Hardware Trojans Using Non-Invasive Off-The-Shelf Technologies. Electronics 2018, 7, 124.

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