The student will have the opportunity to work with experts from IVHM Boeing funded Centre at the Cranfield University and Exostar in the field of hardware security, as well as being part of our dynamic and robust research centre at Cranfield.
Embedded electronics represents the weakest part of any smart system with respect to security, privacy and trust. A vast range of threats, faced by contemporary embedded electronics, is caused by Hardware Trojan (HT). HT are malicious modifications of hardware that may get intentionally or unintentionally integrated with embedded electronics at any stage of the silicon supply chain, from the early design stages up to the Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products in use, inclusive of their upgrade, maintenance and repair. These threats can take multiple forms, such as hardware bugs, counterfeit electronics, and reverse engineering. Hard Trojans remain hard to detect, isolate and mitigate because they mainly act as hardware bugs, remain silent until the occurrence of a rare event that triggers their activation. Most of the existing electronic CAD, design and verification tools deal with known functions; hence, leave hardware Trojan uncared due to their black box nature.
This research aims at integrating security assessment of designs and their implementations into tool flows, looking into the security of supply chain of libraries used in the verification CAD tools, providing automated validation and cost-benefit analysis of the security within the design and implementation stages.
The Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) Centre is a major collaborative venture at Cranfield, started in 2008, with funding from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA); a consortium of core industrial partners, (Boeing, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Meggitt, Thales, MOD and Alstom); and from EPSRC. The investment, over the first 5 years of operation, was approaching £10M. We are now in our eighth year of operation, and the Centre has grown into other sectors (rail, energy, health and agriculture), and is financially self-sustaining; many of the partners (and others) are funding Applied Research projects, and there is a growing revenue from EPSRC, TSB and EU funded work.