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Hardware Trojans and the Problem of Trust in Integrated Circuits

By Sergio Marchese, Technical Marketing Manager, OneSpin | Semiconductor Engineering Blog

IC development steps are vulnerable to malicious insertions that may compromise system security.

Electronic systems are at the core of an ever-increasing number of products and services. From power plants to automobiles, from medical devices to airplanes, from smartphones to home appliances, complex electronic systems enable an unprecedented level of automation, performance, safety, and security. Integrated circuits (ICs) are the backbone of these systems. It is of paramount importance that they can be trusted to operate in full compliance to their specifications and certifications. However, IC design, production, and distribution are surprisingly vulnerable to malicious agents that could infiltrate devices with poor performance and reliability, or even with hardware Trojans, i.e., additional, hidden functionalities designed for nefarious purposes.


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