Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Trojan hardware

With so many things and events being reliant upon computers now, and with more dependencies being built (and added on) all the time, one has to wonder if anyone has really looked at how good the basis might be.

I know. Several have stuffed their pockets with money (almost beyond calculation) through offerings in these realms. But, we hear the horror stories all the time (genies let out of the bottle?).

On the other hand, there is a seemingly never-ending demand for more and more. How far can we go before we find ourselves entrapped so as to not be able to extricate ourselves?

A recent IEEE Spectrum article looks at one potential area of concern. How much trust can we place in the current methods and the products?

Mitra, S, Wong, H-S, Wong, S. "Stopping Hardware Trojans in Their Tracks" (February 2015)


Concern about obtaining compromised hardware has received some attention (see Wikipedia, for example). The IEEE Spectrum article describes some methods for proving that hardware is not problematic and, at the same time, itemizes limitations.

Questions remain: How can we place such unquestioning trust? Who is involved in helping to tackle the problem?

Well, truth engineering has had this focus from the beginning, albeit from a broader scope.

It is nice to see that the NSF has their trust-HUB effort. As well, advanced research (IARPA) under the auspices of national intelligence has been working on ways and means to handle the related problems.

Remarks:   Modified: 03/20/2015

03/20/2015 -- "Can you trust your fridge?" is the head-line in the print version.

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