Trojan Awakener: Detecting Dormant Malicious Hardware Using Laser Logic State Imaging
The threat of hardware Trojans (HTs) and their detection is a widely studied field. While the effort for inserting a Trojan into an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) can be considered relatively high, especially when trusting the chip manufacturer, programmable hardware is vulnerable to Trojan insertion even after the product has been shipped or during usage. At the same time, detecting dormant HTs with small or zero-overhead triggers and payloads on these platforms is still a challenging task, as the Trojan might not get activated during the chip verification using logical testing or physical measurements. In this work, we present a novel Trojan detection approach based on a technique known from integrated circuit (IC) failure analysis, capable of detecting virtually all classes of dormant Trojans. Using laser logic state imaging (LLSI), we show how supply voltage modulations can awaken inactive Trojans, making them detectable using laser voltage imaging techniques. Therefore, our technique does not require triggering the Trojan. To support our claims, we present two case studies on 28 nm SRAM- and flash-based field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). We demonstrate how to detect with high confidence small changes in sequential and combinatorial logic as well as in the routing configuration of FPGAs in a non-invasive manner. Finally, we discuss the practical applicability of our approach on dormant analog Trojans in ASICs.