Storage Investigate

Extracting Device Fingerprints From Flash Memory by Exploiting Physical Variations

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Executive Summary

Many computing applications require the ability to uniquely identify a particular electronic device. Personalized services, digital rights management, and authentication schemes can all leverage per-device identifiers that are difficult (or impossible) to forge. At the same time, the growing economic importance and popularity of electronic devices has provided criminals with incentives to sell counterfeit items. The authors evaluate seven techniques for extracting unique signatures from NAND flash devices based on observable effects of process variation. Four of the techniques yield usable signatures that represent different trade-offs between speed, robustness, randomness, and wear imposed on the flash device. They describe how to use the signatures to prevent counterfeiting and uniquely identify and/or authenticate electronic devices.

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