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Many aspects of our current life rely on the exchange of data through electronic media. Powerful encryption algorithms guarantee the security, privacy and authentication of these exchanges. Nevertheless, those algorithms are implemented in electronic devices that may be the target of attacks in spite of the quality of the implemented algorithms. Several means of attacking integrated circuits are reported in the literature (for instance analysis of the computation time , of the correlation between the processed data and the current consumption, of electromagnetic emanation, of the noise caused by the emitted photons, etc…). Among them, laser illumination of the device has been reported to be one important and effective alternative. The principle is to illuminate the circuit by mean of a laser and then to induce a faulty behavior.

Whatever the type of attack, the need for an initial perturbation, well-controlled in space and time, is similar thus the interest for the laser-based perturbations.

Until now, relatively few studies have shown the actual possibility to inject such faults in a circuit (i.e. with the expected characteristics) and especially onto deep-submicron technology circuits (65 nm and 40nm technologies).

The goal of this project is to provide efficient tools to circuit designers to prevent such attacks.

For that, a first sub-goal is to model the effect of laser shots onto deep submicron integrated circuits and to derive electrical and logico-temporal fault models that can be used in a design flow.

A second goal is to develop sufficiently precise fault simulators whose run-time is compliant with design constraints.

An auxiliary goal of this project will be the development of tools helping the designers to validate their solutions against laser injections without actually having access to expensive laser equipment. These tools will allow simulating the laser effects on the basis of the laser fault models developed within the project itself; the designers will thus benefit from the possibility to evaluate soon in the design flow the behavior of the systems with respect to the different parameters and variables highlighted during the experimentation campaigns. In order to accelerate the evaluation process, emulation will be taken into account: generic tools are already available at the partners and they will be refined and adapted to the results obtained during the project.

A third goal is to imagine new attacks based on the effects on these advanced technologies and thus to propose counter-measures for these near-future circuits.