Trojans aren’t restricted to the software domain

Trojans aren’t restricted to the software domain; in some instances, hardware Trojans could even open backdoors in custom silicon.

The hardware Trojan is the subject of regular hacking competitions between research teams. For example, the Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) organised by New York University [Tandon School of Engineering] has run several challenges around Trojans. In these challenges, red teams try to circumvent the detection mechanisms used by blue teams. 2013’s CSAW challenge focused on methods to beat FANCI, a largely effective detector developed at Columbia University and NYU [Tandon]. FANCI works on the basis that a Trojan would only have a loose connection to the design such that its logic would seem to be practically unreachable.


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