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EE Times Article: RISC-V, DARPA Advance Security

By April 22, 2019May 12th, 2021No Comments

With the proliferation of intelligent devices, the industry needs new robust security approaches instead of trying to fix the cracks in existing designs.
Companies often don’t build security into their products from the start. Instead, they add on cryptographic algorithms and primitives to achieve confidentiality and authenticity properties, but this add-on approach makes the product a target of possible attacks.
Attacks might include exploitable software bugs, the most common vulnerability, or hardware leaks, physical attacks, logical attacks and remote and localized attacks. Newly identified vulnerabilities such as Spectre, Meltdown, Foreshadow and Spoiler have shown that problems such as side-channel attacks also exist in hardware designs, and that there are likely many more vulnerabilities in current solutions from hardware vendors.
Secure hardware needs to become an industry mandate. All too often companies take shortcuts in design assurance and secure design, trying to meet certain performance, area, speed and cost requirements.
Without secure hardware, design flaws will continue to be discovered and exploited, risking serious data breaches and other serious consequences. It’s time for the industry to move away from the principle of security by obscurity and embrace open architectures like RISC-V which enable anyone to inspect and analyze the instruction set architecture (ISA) to assess its security.
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