SecuCode: Intrinsic PUF Entangled Secure Wireless Code Dissemination for Computational RFID Devices

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Authors Yang Su, Yansong Gao, Michael Chesser, O. Kavehei, A. Sample, D. Ranasinghe
Journal/Conference Name IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing
Paper Category
Paper Abstract The simplicity of deployment and perpetual operation of energy harvesting devices provides a compelling proposition for a new class of edge devices for the Internet of Things. In particular, Computational Radio Frequency Identification (CRFID) devices are an emerging class of battery-free, computational, sensing enhanced devices that harvest all of their energy for operation. Despite wireless connectivity and powering, secure wireless firmware updates remains an open challenge for CRFID devices due to intermittent powering, limited computational capabilities, and the absence of a supervisory operating system. We present, for the first time, a secure wireless code dissemination (SecuCode) mechanism for CRFIDs by entangling a device intrinsic hardware security primitive Static Random Access Memory Physical Unclonable Function (SRAM PUF) to a firmware update protocol. The design of SecuCode i) overcomes the resource-constrained and intermittently powered nature of the CRFID devices; ii) is fully compatible with existing communication protocols employed by CRFID devices in particular, ISO-18000-6C protocol; and ii) is built upon a standard and industry compliant firmware compilation and update method realized by extending a recent framework for firmware updates provided by Texas Instruments. We build an end-to-end SecuCode implementation and conduct extensive experiments to demonstrate standards compliance, evaluate performance and security.
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language C

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