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Temporary Laser Fault Injection into Flash Memory: Calibration, Enhanced Attacks, and Countermeasures

: Garb, K.; Obermaier, J.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
26th IEEE International Symposium on On-Line Testing and Robust System Design, IOLTS 2020 : July 13-16, 2020, virtual edition
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-72818-187-5
ISBN: 978-1-72818-186-8
ISBN: 978-1-72818-188-2
International Symposium on On-Line Testing and Robust System Design (IOLTS) <26, 2020, Online>
Fraunhofer AISEC ()

There exist different attacks on microcontroller and embedded system security. One of them is laser fault injection (LFI). Laser fault injection into flash memory that has only temporary effects has been observed by several research groups. However, up to this date, the experiments have been conducted under specific conditions which differ from realistic applications and the search for the respective laser position was described as being cumbersome. We present several temporary LFI experiments on flash memory that produce reliable results in real-life conditions and discuss a simple method to calibrate the laser to obtain the desired faults and reproduce them reliably. Furthermore, we discuss countermeasures to the described attack, considering flash-aware error detection that is able to detect the injected faults and data degradation.