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Hardware Security: Physical Attacks

Are you interested in learning the basics of hardware hacking? Is your organization affected by IoT security evaluations? Do you want to learn the core techniques used in hardware penetration testing? This 2-day masterclass will provide you a hands-on approach to this exciting field, teaching you how to code side-channel and fault attacks and how to carry out a simple security evaluation.

Hardware attacks and IoT

Modern cryptography has enabled secure communications, privacy and safe transactions that benefit our daily life. However, once a cryptographic algorithm is implemented on a physical device (e.g. a microprocessor, FPGA, or ASIC) it becomes vulnerable to hardware attacks like side-channel analysis and fault injection.

Hardware attacks are a unique intersection of cryptography, electronics and machine learning. The attacks monitor passively the power consumption of a cryptographic device or try to actively inject faults in order to bypass security. With 13 billion IoT devices globally active in 2022, hardware security is becoming a core concern of the electronics industry.

Why choose this masterclass?
  • Content of the masterclass
    • An introduction to side-channel analysis, showcasing the core statistical techniques used to attack devices
    • An introduction to fault attacks, showcasing core differential techniques that exploit injected faults
    • Programming basic hardware attacks in MATLAB/Octave or Python   
    • Deploying the hardware attacks to extract the secret key from provided datasets and break the security of a cryptographic device

    This masterclass will be both theoretical and practical. For the practical part, coding assignments will be handed to the participants on the days of the masterclass, and will be carried out under the supervision of the lecturer.

  • What will you learn?
    • Become familiar with the novel attack vector of hardware security
    • Gained the basic understanding of side-channel analysis and fault attacks
    • Improved your coding skills by hands-on assignments involving the analysis of datasets
  • Whom is this masterclass suitable for?
    • Cryptography and security researchers who want to learn the core techniques of side-channel and fault analysis
    • Penetration testers, security auditors and evaluators of embedded devices
    • Forensics experts that are interested in hardware security
    • Developers of critical IoT products
    • Any embedded security enthusiasts or hardware hackers

    The course involves programming in MATLAB/Octave or Python, so basic programming skills are required. Knowledge of cryptography and statistics is welcome, but not necessary to follow the course.

  • What makes this masterclass unique?

    Participants will benefit from our strong academic and industrial experience in the field of cryptography and hardware security. In this masterclass, you will learn about the basics of hardware security in a hands-on manner, as well as novel and impactful attack techniques that affect most modern IoT devices.

Lecturer: Dr. Kostas Papagiannopoulos

Dr. Papagiannopoulos is currently an assistant professor in the department of informatics of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in the Netherlands.

In the past he worked as a cryptographer and vulnerability analyst at NXP Semiconductors Hamburg, in Germany and obtained his PhD in Side-Channel Analysis from Radboud University, Department of Digital Security, in the Netherlands. He holds an MSc in Information Security from Radboud University, TU/e and UTwente as well as an electrical and computer engineering degree from NTUA, in Greece.

His research interests revolve around embedded systems, high-performance and resource-constrained cipher implementations, power and electromagnetic side-channel attacks, side-channel and fault countermeasures, statistics and machine learning, intrusion detection and lightweight cryptography.

LAB42 (Science Park Campus, Amsterdam)
LAB42 (Science Park Campus, Amsterdam)
Practical Information

Dates: 7 & 8 March, 2024
Mode of study: Onsite programme
Certificate: A Certificate of Attendance from the University of Amsterdam
Maximum number of participants: 20
Price: € 1950,- (UvA alumni get a 10% discount. Fees are VAT-exempt)
Location: Lab42, Science Park 900, Amsterdam 
Language: English
Study materials: Will be provided on the days of the masterclass.
Required software: Attendants should bring their own laptop with Windows, Linux or MacOS, and MATLAB/Octave or Python with numpy and scipy installed.


Do you have questions about this masterclass?
Please contact Liza Lambert, Project Manager Lifelong Learning (Informatics Institute)

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