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After German research and development, quantum chip and hardware Trojan horse detection technology ushered in a breakthrough in quantum technology!

Date:2021-08-10 11:49:28 Views:1465

Recently, scientists at Munich University of technology in Germany designed and manufactured a computer chip that can effectively apply post quantum cryptography, and reconstructed the chip function through artificial intelligence program to test the verifiability of Trojan horse planted in the chip.

The emergence of quantum computing technology will endanger many current cryptographic algorithms, especially the public key cryptographic algorithms widely used to protect digital information. Therefore, security experts around the world are busy formulating the technical standards of "post quantum cryptography" and analyzing many challenges of migrating from public key cryptography infrastructure to post quantum cryptography. One of them is the high computational requirements of post quantum encryption methods. Now, a team led by George Siegel, an information security professor at Munich University of technology, has designed and manufactured a chip that can effectively apply post quantum cryptography.

The chip is a so-called application specific integrated circuit, which is usually designed and manufactured according to the requirements of users and specific electronic systems. Siegel's team modified the open source chip design based on the open source risc-v standard, applied the method of hardware and software collaborative design, modified the computing kernel, accelerated the special instructions of necessary computing operations, and extended the design of a special hardware accelerator, so that the new chip can achieve better post quantum encryption performance.

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The new chip can not only use the most promising post quantum cipher candidate algorithm kyber, but also cooperate with another alternative algorithm Sike, which needs more computing power. Compared with the chip completely based on software solution, the speed of kyber encryption can be increased by about 10 times and the energy consumption can be reduced by about 8 times. The speed of using Sike encryption will be 21 times faster than the chip using only software solutions. Because Sike is regarded as a promising alternative. Such precautions are meaningful where chips are used for a long time.

Researchers believe that the threat posed by the so-called hardware Trojan horse is also increasing for post quantum cryptography. If the attacker successfully implanted the Trojan horse circuit into the chip design before or during chip manufacturing, this may have serious consequences. Siegel explained: "So far, we know very little about how real attackers use hardware Trojans. In order to formulate protective measures, we put ourselves in the perspective of attackers and develop and hide Trojans ourselves. That's why we built four Trojans and implanted them into our post quantum chip. They work very differently."

In the next few months, Siegel and his team will focus on testing the encryption function of the chip and the function and verifiability of the hardware Trojan horse. Siegel developed a new artificial intelligence program, which can reconstruct the exact function of the chip through reverse engineering even if there is no available document. Through a complex process, the conductor tracks in the chip are polished layer by layer, and each layer is photographed. Then the exact function of the chip is reconstructed by artificial intelligence program. "This reconstruction can help identify chip components whose functions are unrelated to their actual tasks and may be embedded in them. This program may one day become the standard for spot checking large chip orders. Combined with effective post quantum encryption technology, we can make hardware in factories and cars more secure," Siegel said