SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  OSD10-A04 (OSD)
Title:  Anti-Reverse Engineering (RE) Techniques
Research & Technical Areas:  Information Systems, Materials/Processes

Acquisition Program:  
 The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.
  Objective:  Research and develop technology, tools, and/or fabrication/design guidelines and methods to prevent, identify, or severely limit reverse engineering (RE) techniques on microelectronic devices.
  Description:  The majority of critical technologies are contained within microelectronic devices, such as ASICs or FPGAs. Therefore, these devices will be targeted by an exploiter to extract or reveal protected information. Technology and methods are needed to detect and/or prevent reverse engineering techniques available to the adversary. Reverse Engineering techniques to be considered include the following: - Physical (Depackaging, Delayering, and Probing) - Imaging (Optical, and SEM - Scanning Electron Microscope) - Glitching (Power, Laser, Environmental, and Timing) - Side channel (SPA - Simple Power Analysis, DPA - Differential Power Analysis, HO-DPA - High-Order Differential Power Analysis, and DFA - Differential Fault Analysis). Participation in this SBIR is limited to US citizens.

  PHASE I: Research the above RE techniques, and countermeasures for microelectronic devices. The contractor will then identify which anti-RE technology areas are going to be developed with approval from the government. The anti-RE technologies must not significantly degrade system performance. Simulations, simple prototypes, and/or models may be developed to demonstrate the feasibility of anti-RE technologies. Provide a final report to the government describing the proposed anti-RE technologies, and summarizing the findings of the RE techniques and countermeasures research.
  PHASE II: Develop a prototype anti-RE technology(ies) based on Phase I research. An independent lab is to test and evaluate the anti-RE technologies prototype, and provide a copy of the test and evaluation report to the government. Provide one (1) prototype anti-RE technology to the government point of contact. At the government’s facility, provide a 2 day on site seminar covering the anti-RE technology. Provide a final report to the government point of contact.

  PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATION: Department of Defense Directive (DOD) 5000.2R provides instructions on identifying critical technologies and on defining methods to protect them. Commercialization opportunities exist throughout the Defense Department and within the government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and Intelligence Community for technologies to protect critical technologies. Applications for a commercial version of the technology include protecting hardware/software intellectual property.

  References:  [1] Wills, L., Newcomb, P., Eds. Reverse Engineering, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996. [2] Ingle, K. A. Reverse Engineering, McGraw-Hill Professional, 1994. [3] Huang, A. Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering, No Starch, 2003. [4] Fullam, S. Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks, O'Reilly, 2003. [5] Grand, J., Russell, R., Mitnick, K. Hardware Hacking: Have Fun While Voiding Your Warranty, Syngress, 2004. [6] Anderson, R., Kuhn, M. Tamper Resistance – A Cautionary Note, Cambridge, 1996. [7] Menezes, P., Oorschot, V., Vanstone, S. Handbook of Applied Cryptography, CRC, 1996. [8] Nohl, K., Evans, D. Reverse Engineering a Cryptographic RFID Tag, University of Virginia, 2007. [9] Torrance, R., James, D. Reverse Engineering in the Semiconductor Industry, Chipworks, 2007. [10] Kocher, P., Jaffe, J., Jun, B. Intro to Differential Power Analysis and Related Attacks, CRI, 1998.

Keywords:  Anti-tamper, Reverse Engineer, Design, Fabrication, Techniques, and Methods

Questions and Answers:
Q: Does this topic a require a comparative research on existing RE techniques?
Or, should the proposers propose one or more innovative solutions and detail them?
A: The proposer should propose one or more solution(s) and detail them.

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