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Windows 7: Surreptitiously Tampering with Computer Chips

17 Sep 2013   #1
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
Surreptitiously Tampering with Computer Chips

This is really interesting research: "Stealthy Dopant-Level Hardware Trojans." Basically, you can tamper with a logic gate to be either stuck-on or stuck-off by changing the doping of one transistor. This sort of sabotage is undetectable by functional testing or optical inspection. And it can be done at mask generation -- very late in the design process -- since it does not require adding circuits, changing the circuit layout, or anything else. All this makes it really hard to detect.

A Guy

My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Sep 2013   #2

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Main lap Asus ROG 7 Pro

Good post Bill having mucked around with dedicated transistors a lot when I was younger one only has to look at the almost limitless configurations that "doping" or internal connections can take to see how fairly easily this can be done.

What it gets me thinking is how easy would it be to make chips, dies etc that could be altered by an external source at a later date - after it has been installed in a machine/s. For example just like us altering the firmware on a device or changing the BIOS configuration. It also conjures up in my mind how not just one device in a machine could be corrupt but maybe a whole host of others.
That is a scary thought eh?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Surreptitiously Tampering with Computer Chips

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