Tamper-proof hardware design

OData support
Dr. Sujbert László
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

In our days we store many sensitive data in digital form, and the amount of this data rapidly increases. The unauthorized access of this data is resting on direct attacks of the hardware and on contact methods. The protection against these attacks becomes more and more important. The tamper proof devices must evolve continuously, because the knowledge and the equipment of the potential attackers is growing day after day. This present study deals with the design and testing of a tamper proof device, which is capable of detecting the attacks in real time, and can respond to them without any human intervention.

Currently there are many special hardware designs, which can detect an unauthorized intruder. The motive of constructing the device presented in this study was to create a secure hardware structure from these special hardware solutions. The main aspect of the design was to achieve maximal security level with minimal equipment. An other aspect was, that I can test the sensors with the equipment which is available to me.

In this study I present the steps of the hardware design. The first step is to prepare the system design and the specification with regards to the capabilities of potential attackers that influence the behaviour of the system. After this the main components were chosen. The schematic design of the device and the blueprints of its printed circuits were created, based on which the device has been manufactured. The components were integrated and the case of the device was refined. Finally, the device was put to the proof by testing its defensive functions.

At the end of the study I present the experiences I gained about the behaviour of the particular security mechanisms. These experiences can be used to develop the design of the device in the future versions.


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