IT-Security by Hardware

Bernd Klauer, Helmut-Schmidt University

Friday, January 23, 2009, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

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MP3 (27 MB)

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

The concept of "malicious code" has always been associated with software. Recent work in the IT-security domain shows that simple hardware modifications can grant the privileged access to computer systems. The descriptive complexity of malicious code is extremely small in the software domain. For the hardware domain it has been shown that about a thousand gate equivalents are sufficient to implement malicious structures into a microprocessor circuit. From Moore's law we learn that we will soon be able to build one billion or more gates into integrated circuits. It is obvious that such malicious structures are hardly visible as they take less than 1/1000000 of the space of a silicon circuit. The presentation will show a classification of malicious "software" code by its visibility by anti-x agents. We will then derive some minor changes in common hardware architectures to increase their resistance against malicious software. In the second part of the presentation it will be shown how future malware generations can attack hardware structures.

About the Speaker

Bernd Klauer studied Computer Sciences and Physics at the J.W.Goethe-University in Frankfurt. He earned his M.Sc. in 1990. He received his Ph.D. with a dissertation on parallel pattern recognition methods in 1995. After leading a research group on parallel computer architectures he received his Habilitation in 2004. He followed a call from the University of the Federal Armed Forces to chair the department of technical computer sciences as a professor in 2004. He is a member of the GI, ITG, and VDE leading a GI/ITG/PTG special interest group on Physics and Computer Science.