International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paper: The Wiretap Channel for Capacitive PUF-Based Security Enclosures

Kathrin Garb , Technical University of Munich
Marvin Xhemrishi , Technical University of Munich
Ludwig K├╝rzinger , Technical University of Munich
Christoph Frisch , Technical University of Munich
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Abstract: In order to protect devices from physical manipulations, protective security enclosures were developed. However, these battery-backed solutions come with a reduced lifetime, and have to be actively and continuously monitored. In order to overcome these drawbacks, batteryless capacitive enclosures based on Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) have been developed that generate a key-encryption-key (KEK) for decryption of the key chain. In order to reproduce the PUF-key reliably and to compensate the effect of noise and environmental influences, the key generation includes error correction codes. However, drilling attacks that aim at partially destroying the enclosure also alter the PUF-response and are subjected to the same error correction procedures. Correcting attack effects, however, is highly undesirable as it would destroy the security concept of the enclosure. In general, designing error correction codes such that they provide tamper-sensitivity to attacks, while still correcting noise and environmental effects is a challenging task. We tackle this problem by first analyzing the behavior of the PUF-response under external influences and different post-processing parameters. From this, we derive a system model of the PUF-based enclosure, and construct a wiretap channel implementation from q-ary polar codes. We verify the obtained error correction scheme in a Monte Carlo simulation and demonstrate that our wiretap channel implementation achieves a physical layer security of 100 bits for 306 bits of entropy for the PUF-secret. Through this, we further develop capacitive PUF-based security enclosures and bring them one step closer to their commercial deployment.
  title={The Wiretap Channel for Capacitive PUF-Based Security Enclosures},
  journal={IACR Transactions on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems},
  author={Kathrin Garb and Marvin Xhemrishi and Ludwig K├╝rzinger and Christoph Frisch},