“Sensing with Random Encoding for Enhanced Security in Embedded Systems”

Friday, April 23, 2021 | 12 – 1 pm | REGISTER NOW

Kevin Hutto
Ph.D. Student – Georgia Tech ECE

Co-sponsored by the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy and the Institute for Information Security and Privacy


Embedded systems in physically insecure environments are subject to additional security risk via capture by an adversary. A captured microchip device can be reverse engineered to recover internal buffer data that would otherwise be inaccessible through standard IO mechanisms. We consider an adversary who has sufficient ability to gain all internal bits and logic from a device at the time of capture as an unsolved threat. In this talk we present a novel sensing architecture that enhances embedded system security by randomly encoding sensed values. We randomly encode data at the time of sensing to minimize the amount of plaintext data present on a device in buffer memory. We encode using techniques that are unintelligible to an adversary even with full internal bit knowledge. The encoding is decipherable by a trusted home server, and we show an architecture to perform this decoding. Our experimental results show the proposed architecture meets timing requirements needed to perform communications with a satellite utilizing short-burst data, such as in remote sensing telemetry and tracking applications.

Speaker Bio:

Kevin Hutto is a PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the school of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Before starting graduate school he spent five years in the US Navy serving as an officer in the engineering department on a nuclear submarine. As a student at Georgia Tech he has been part of Dr. Mooney’s Hardware/Software Codesign for Security group, working to improve security in areas historically overlooked.