System-Level Methods to Prevent Reverse-Engineering, Cloning, and Trojan Insertion

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Executive Summary

The Reverse-Engineering (RE) is a real threat on high-value electronic circuits. Many unitary solutions have been proposed to make RE difficult. Most of them are low-level, and thus costly to design and to implement. In this paper, the authors investigate alternative solutions that attempt to deny the possibility of RE using high-level methods, at virtually no added cost. The field of protection against Reverse-Engineering (RE) has developed recently, especially in the case of software (where it is called digital forensic). Those techniques have extended to hardware, because the design of circuits is more and more outsourced (for fabrication, packaging, assembly, etc.).

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