On-Chip Physical Attack Threats to FPGAs and beyond



In recent years, FPGAs have been proposed as more generic computing accelerators, integrated into embedded systems and cloud computing. By sharing the FPGA fabric in a multi-user system, new security threats have to be considered. In this presentation, we give an introduction about the risk of supplying the adversary FPGA and victim circuit through the same power distribution network (PDN). We show how to perform fault and side-channel attacks only using digital FPGA logic, and also give an example how a shared PDN can be a threat beyond FPGAs. In the end, we briefly show recent developments on the side of attacks and countermeasures.



Dr. Dennis Gnad

Postdoctoral Researcher
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Chair of Dependable Nano Computing (CDNC)
Institut für Technische Informatik (ITEC)



Dennis Gnad received his B.Eng. degree in Computer Engineering from Hochschule Pforzheim University, Germany in 2011, where he did his Bachelor Thesis in Cooperation with Texas Instruments Germany. In 2015, he received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. In his Master Thesis he worked with the ITEC/CES group of Prof. Henkel with Dr. Shafique. In 2015, he became a PhD student at the ITEC/CDNC group of Prof. Mehdi Tahoori and later received his PhD degree (Dr.-Ing.) in 2020 with distinction (summa cum laude), and the dissertation "Remote Attacks on FPGA Hardware". His current research interests are in hardware security, primarily focussed on FPGA-based systems.