UNIQUE (Foundations for Forgery-Resistant Security Hardware)

The UNIQUE project mainly focuses on the design, development and implementation of Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs) and PUF-based cryptographic primitives and protocols (hardware-entangled cryptography), in particular for the identification and authentication of embedded devices with constrained resources (e.g., RFID chips). In this context, we are investigating novel PUF concepts including reconfigurable PUFs, whose properties can be changed during operation, and solutions that allow for the public verification of PUFs.

Another important research topic within UNIQUE is the investigation and development of malicious functionalities in hardware (hardware Trojans) and detection techniques. A Hardware Trojan represents a hidden malicious circuit inserted purposely in Integrated Circuits (ICs) during their design or manufacturing stages. The intentions of Hardware Trojans concern mainly leaking of information, disrupting the normal behavior or in extreme cases interrupting the functionality of ICs. Such concerns have increased the need for more detection techniques. In this regard our research in that area aims to contribute to the development of effective detection techniques based not only on traditional mechanisms but also on contemporary approaches such as PUFs.

Contact: Christian Wachsmann, Ünal Kocabas