Attackers have the ability not only to manipulate software, but also to tamper with the hardware. A team from Bochum is devising methods to detect such tampering.
Security gaps exist not only in software, but also directly in hardware. Attackers might deliberately have them built in in order to attack technical applications on a large scale. Researchers at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, and the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy (MPI-SP) in Bochum are exploring methods of detecting such so-called hardware Trojans. They compared construction plans for chips with electron microscope images of real chips and had an algorithm search for differences. This is how they detected deviations in 37 out of 40 cases.