Despite the numerous advantages of nanometer technologies, the increase in complexity also introduces a viable vector for attacking an integrated circuit (IC): a hardware attack, also known as a hardware Trojan. Since such an attack is implemented within the hardware of a design, it is generally undetectable to any software operating on this circuitry. To make matters worse, a hardware attack could be introduced at almost any point in a designís development cycle, be it through third-party intellectual property (IP) licensed for a design, or through unknown modifications made during the fabrication process. This malicious hardware could act as a kill-switch for a vital device, or as a data-leak for sensitive information. Activation would occur at some predetermined time or by a trigger from a malicious agent. An effective method is required to find such unexpected functionality. This paper describes several key challenges to be addressed in order to provide hardware assurance for trustworthy systems. We examine the platform of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) both for their potential vulnerability to threats within third-party IP as well as their capability to accelerate the testing of those modules.
William H. Robinson received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in 1996 and his M.S. in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 1998. He received his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Tech in 2003. In August 2003, Dr. Robinson joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Vanderbilt University as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010.
Dr. Robinson leads the Security And Fault Tolerance (SAF-T) Research Group at Vanderbilt University, whose mission is to conduct transformational research that addresses the reliability and security of computing systems. He collaborates with both the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE) and the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) at Vanderbilt University. In addition to his research activities, Dr. Robinson serves as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Computer Engineering. He also participates with the Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST), an NSF Science and Technology Center, where he serves as the Outreach Director.
Dr. Robinsonís major honors include selection for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Computer Science Study Panel, both in 2008. Dr. Robinson is a Senior Member of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM); he has additional memberships in the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).