Chapter 5

Hardware Security in Embedded Systems 1

5.1. Introduction

As demonstrated in the first chapter of this book, embedded systems are becoming more and more ubiquitous in many applications. Usually in the form of wireless and communicative systems, they result from complex design flows, which juggle the tightly bound constraints of integration and functionality (size, power consumption, speed, etc.). Since the early 2000s, a new critical constraint has emerged: security.

Regarding applications, the development of e-commerce is limited by users’ fears of broadcasting bank details, or other private data, through an insecure system and communication channel. However, this does not appear to be curbing the emergence of payment methods becoming built into future generations of mobile phones. They must provide security services in order to reassure the customer, for example, Toshiba’s Smartphones G500 and G900 [TOS 07] contain a digital fingerprint reader; however, this is only a user recognition system and does not guarantee the complete security of the system.

From a system-oriented perspective, it is often necessary to protect internally saved data either completely or partially, and to guarantee the user with permanent control of the system. This is no simple task, as most embedded systems are hardware communications systems that support embedded computers, and are highly at risk from software and hardware attacks.

Moreover, embedded systems are at the heart of a very dynamic ...

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