Kevin Hutto - Sensing with Random Encoding for Enhanced Security in Embedded Systems
From Katie Gentilello on May 7th, 2021
Embedded systems in physically insecure environments are subject to additional security risk via capture by an adversary. A captured microchip device can be reverse engineered to recover internal buffer data that would otherwise be inaccessible through standard IO mechanisms. We consider an adversary who has sufficient ability to gain all internal bits and logic from a device at the time of capture as an unsolved threat. In this paper we present a novel sensing architecture that enhances embedded system security by randomly encoding sensed values. We randomly encode data at the time of sensing to minimize the amount of plaintext data present on a device in buffer memory. We encode using techniques that are unintelligible to an adversary even with full internal bit knowledge. The encoding is decipherable by a trusted home server, and we have provided an architecture to perform this decoding. Our experimental results show the proposed architecture meets timing requirements needed to perform communications with a satellite utilizing short-burst data, such as in remote sensing telemetry and tracking applications.