A Formal Definition and a New Security Mechanism of Physical Unclonable Functions

Provided by: Cornell University
Topic: Security
Format: PDF
The characteristic novelty of what is generally meant by a "Physical Unclonable Function" (PUF) is precisely defined, in order to supply a firm basis for security evaluations and the proposal of new security mechanisms. A PUF is defined as a hardware device which implements a physical function with an output value that changes with its argument. A PUF can be clonable, but a secure PUF must be unclonable. This proposed meaning of a PUF is cleanly delineated from the closely related concepts of "Conventional unclonable function", "Physically obfuscated key", "Random-number generator", "Controlled PUF" and "strong PUF". The structure of a systematic security evaluation of a PUF enabled by the proposed formal definition is outlined.

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