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Security, Reliability and Backdoors

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Abstract: Backdoors present in hardware or embedded firmware is a potential security threat. However, the reason for their existence is questionable. In this talk implications imposed by backdoors on real systems will be presented at various levels from silicon hardware (SoC FPGA ), through embedded firmware (Smartcard) to system software (Industrial controller). I will show how the backdoors can be found and exploited. The aim of this talk is to raise a discussion about the influence of backdoors on security and reliability.

Bio: Dr Sergei Skorobogatov is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and a member of the Security Group. He received Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory in 2005. His research interests include hardware security analysis of smartcards, microcontrollers, FPG As and ASI Cs. He pioneered optical fault injection attacks in 2001, which have influenced major rethink within semiconductor industry on the security protection of semiconductor chips and forced introduction of new evaluation procedures and countermeasures. His latest research is about backdoors and Trojans in hardware devices.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Security Seminar series.

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