? Spear and Shield: Evolution of Integrated Circuit Camouflaging
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Journal of Computer Science and Technology 2018, Vol. 33 Issue (1) :42-57    DOI: 10.1007/s11390-018-1807-6
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Spear and Shield: Evolution of Integrated Circuit Camouflaging
Xue-Yan Wang1, Student Member, ACM, IEEE, Qiang Zhou1,*, Senior Member, CCF, Member, ACM, IEEE, Yi-Ci Cai1, Senior Member, CCF, Member, IEEE, Gang Qu2, Senior Member, IEEE
1 Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
2 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20740, U.S.A

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Abstract Intellectual property (IP) protection is one of the hardcore problems in hardware security. Semiconductor industry still lacks effective and proactive defense to shield IPs from reverse engineering (RE) based attacks. Integrated circuit (IC) camouflaging technique fills this gap by replacing some conventional logic gates in the IPs with specially designed logic cells (called camouflaged gates) without changing the functions of the IPs. The camouflaged gates can perform different logic functions while maintaining an identical look to RE attackers, thus preventing them from obtaining the layout information of the IP directly from RE tools. Since it was first proposed in 2012, circuit camouflaging has become one of the hottest research topics in hardware security focusing on two fundamental problems. How to choose the types of camouflaged gates and decide where to insert them in order to simultaneously minimize the performance overhead and optimize the RE complexity? How can an attacker de-camouflage a camouflaged circuit and complete the RE attack? In this article, we review the evolution of circuit camouflaging through this spear and shield race. First, we introduce the design methods of four different kinds of camouflaged cells based on true/dummy contacts, static random access memory (SRAM), doping, and emerging devices, respectively. Then we elaborate four representative de-camouflaging attacks:brute force attack, IC testing based attack, satisfiability-based (SAT-based) attack, and the circuit partition based attack, and the corresponding countermeasures:clique-based camouflaging, CamoPerturb, AND-tree camouflaging, and equivalent class based camouflaging, respectively. We argue that the current research efforts should be on reducing overhead introduced by circuit camouflaging and defeating de-camouflaging attacks. We point out that exploring features of emerging devices could be a promising direction. Finally, as a complement to circuit camouflaging, we conclude with a brief review of other state-of-the-art IP protection techniques.
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Keywordscircuit camouflaging   reverse engineering   intellectual property (IP) protection   hardware security     
Received 2017-03-22;

This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 61774091. Gang Qu is supported in part by Air Force Office of Scientific Research Multi-University Research Initiative of USA under Award No. FA9550-14-1-0351.

Corresponding Authors: Qiang Zhou     Email: zhouqiang@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn
About author: Xue-Yan Wang received her B.S. degree in computer science and technology from Shandong University, Jinan, in 2013. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing. She is involved in research with the EDA (Electronic Design Automation) Laboratory. From 2015 to 2016, she was a visiting student in University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. Her current research interests include hardware security and efficient algorithms for VLSI physical design.
Cite this article:   
Xue-Yan Wang, Qiang Zhou, Yi-Ci Cai, Gang Qu.Spear and Shield: Evolution of Integrated Circuit Camouflaging[J]  Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2018,V33(1): 42-57
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