Embedded systems are small scale computing devices that are increasingly located in more of the items we use and own. The number of embedded systems in the world is increasing dramatically as the "internet of things" concept becomes more prevalent in the market. The value of the market for embedded systems is predicted to increase to being worth trillions of dollars by 2020. With great value in the embedded system market, there is a need for preventing unauthorised firmware tampering or product counterfeiting. Here is presented a technique for binding software to hardware instances that uses hardware intrinsic security properties of the devices being protected. The proposed technique provides assurance to manufacturers that only they can perform their hardware and software binding and create their products. Also presented is an FPGA implementation of the described scheme that binds the hardware and software together with only a 6.7% increase in execution time. Thus, making it difficult for an attacker to either counterfeit the device or extract the (software) Intellectual Property.
Lee, R. P., Markantonakis, K., & Akram, R. (2016). Binding Hardware and Software to Prevent Firmware Modification and Device Counterfeiting. In The 2nd ACM International Workshop on Cyber-Physical System Security (pp. 70-81). ACM Press. https://doi.org/10.1145/2899015.2899029