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Can We Trust the Future? Part 2

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Adeniji Kayode
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Re: Impossible to clone?
Adeniji Kayode   4/30/2013 7:54:01 PM
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@Hospice,

I agree with you on that.. Taking riss brought us this far. All our inventions and discoveries are as a result of somebody or somebody taking risk(s) .

So taking risk is part of our daily lives

Eric Sivertson
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Eric Sivertson   4/30/2013 3:57:13 PM
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Prabhakar_deosthall,

Security, when done right, is both complex and simple.  Many of today's security breaches are actually taking advantage of the complexity of the cures.  When you examine the nature of the attacks you will see that many are looking at the foundational designs and using them for replication and exploitation. 

If you start to bind software to hardware, whereby the software can only operate on the authorized device, then the nature of the attacks becomes much more challenging and less cost effective.  Todays attacks have a very easy mechanism for replication. If you remove that mechanism, the cost for the attack will go up greatly for the perpertrator.  This will stop many of the current attacks. In fact, the "computer virus" must have a common foundation for replication.  Using a PUF as a Trust foundation will remove this common foundation thereby forcing significant changes to the computer virus model.

But I agree with you that it is a complex problem and one should never understimate the lengths someone will go to mount an attack.  But, increasing the cost for the attacker has historically reduced the level and intensity.

Eric Sivertson
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Re: Can We Trust the Future? Part 2
Eric Sivertson   4/30/2013 3:49:31 PM
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HM,

That is exactly my point and why I think we need to be more proactive on these things.  Unfortunately humans have a funny tendency to ignore prevention and then pile on cure.  As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.  PUF technology has the promise to be that ounce of prevention.  The key now is will we adopt something like this or wait till we have more problems.

Thanks for you comments.

Eric Sivertson
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Re: Impossible to clone?
Eric Sivertson   4/30/2013 3:46:47 PM
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Hospice_Houngbo,

Very good point on "biometric information is nonetheless unique to each individual."  That is the real idea of a PUF.  It is effectively a "biometric" for a non-biological entity (a silicon chip).

Eric Sivertson
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Re: Impossible to clone?
Eric Sivertson   4/30/2013 3:41:52 PM
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Good questions and healthy skepticism.  But, this type of technology is truly "uncloneable," for the forsesable future.  We are relying on microscopic silicon die manufacturing variations.  These variations are truly at the atomic level and it would be cost prohibitive using today's silicon chip manufacturing processes to control things on an atom by atom basis.  A state of the art silicon manufacturing facility costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $1-10 Billion dollars.  It is rumored that TSMC (one of the world's largest semiconductor foundries) spend close to $10Billion on its current 300mm wafer fab. 

Take a look at the following two (2) pictures. Picture 1 is of a Intel Pentium Chip at 1x level.  Picture 2 is of the metal interconnects on a chip using an electron-microscope to greatly enlarge it.

 
Picutre 1 - Intel Pentium
Intel Pentium

Picture 2 - Micrograph of Interconnect on a Chip
Electronmicrograph of Chip Interconnect


As you can see, the first picture is very uniform to the eye.  But in the second picture you can clearly see the less than uniform nature of the circuit connections.  These variations that result from the silicon die manufacturing process are what a PUF leverages.  This non-uniformity is natural for the chip design and does not affect overall chip performance.  To strive for perfect uniformity at the microscopic level would require almost an atom by atom placement which would make mass production cost prohibitive for semiconductor manufacturers.  A PUF effectively measures these variations and depending on the PUF type will yield a very unique measurement from chip to chip.  The commercially available PUF technologies have extensive data to show this uniqueness and randomness over large populations of chips.

So, in the long run there might be new technological advances to change how chips are made to a more uniform process, but that does not appear to be anytime soon.  Until then, a PUF gives you a very low cost, effective way to build a Trust foundation on a silicon die-by-die basis that will be truly unclonable.

Thanks for you comments and feedback.

 

 

Hospice_Houngbo
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Re: Impossible to clone?
Hospice_Houngbo   4/30/2013 8:54:33 AM
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@Adeniji,

"There can never be any thing like "Secured for Life" -"

Agreed! But we should not be paraoid either - always heavily influenced by anxiety or fear that we will never live in a safe world. Life is about balancing between comfort and risk. 

HM
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Can We Trust the Future? Part 2
HM   4/30/2013 4:07:21 AM
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This reminds me of the movie "The Burning Train", when the train was going in auto mode and it was almost impssible to stop it and how much damage it did. Of course it was a movie. But humans should be ready for the damage it can create if the devices go out of control.

prabhakar_deosthali
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prabhakar_deosthali   4/30/2013 12:27:14 AM
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Even if we are able to create a unique identity for a chip , the software that reads this identity and authenticates it , can easily be compromised by a virus, unless there is another hardware device ( again a unique) which does this authentication.

The issue of security is much more complex than we think of.

Adeniji Kayode
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Production Synthesizer
Re: Impossible to clone?
Adeniji Kayode   4/29/2013 10:29:14 PM
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@Taimoor,

I agree with you on that.When it comes to security, It seems we make them to break them later.

There can never be any thing like  "Secured for Life" -

Hospice_Houngbo
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Re: Impossible to clone?
Hospice_Houngbo   4/29/2013 9:09:02 PM
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@taimoorz- No technology is 100% secure, but not everything can easily be cracked. Even If DNA can be cloned, biometric information is nonetheless unique to each individual.

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