Third-Party Hardware IP Assurance against Trojans through Supervised Learning and Post-processing

by   Pravin Gaikwad, et al.

System-on-chip (SoC) developers increasingly rely on pre-verified hardware intellectual property (IP) blocks acquired from untrusted third-party vendors. These IPs might contain hidden malicious functionalities or hardware Trojans to compromise the security of the fabricated SoCs. Recently, supervised machine learning (ML) techniques have shown promising capability in identifying nets of potential Trojans in third party IPs (3PIPs). However, they bring several major challenges. First, they do not guide us to an optimal choice of features that reliably covers diverse classes of Trojans. Second, they require multiple Trojan-free/trusted designs to insert known Trojans and generate a trained model. Even if a set of trusted designs are available for training, the suspect IP could be inherently very different from the set of trusted designs, which may negatively impact the verification outcome. Third, these techniques only identify a set of suspect Trojan nets that require manual intervention to understand the potential threat. In this paper, we present VIPR, a systematic machine learning (ML) based trust verification solution for 3PIPs that eliminates the need for trusted designs for training. We present a comprehensive framework, associated algorithms, and a tool flow for obtaining an optimal set of features, training a targeted machine learning model, detecting suspect nets, and identifying Trojan circuitry from the suspect nets. We evaluate the framework on several Trust-Hub Trojan benchmarks and provide a comparative analysis of detection performance across different trained models, selection of features, and post-processing techniques. The proposed post-processing algorithms reduce false positives by up to 92.85


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