PHYSEC Technology — Physical Integrity Verification

Verifying the integrity of devices, systems and locations.

In 2018, we won first prize at the 7th German IT Security Award for our technology and the development of the Enclosure PUF. The concept enables the integrity of computer systems and their peripherals to be verified by using electromagnetic wave propagation effects.

We present an inno­v­a­tive solu­tion to ver­i­fy the authen­tic­i­ty, integri­ty and/or the phys­i­cal state of an object through elec­tro­mag­net­ic wave prop­a­ga­tion and phys­i­cal unclon­able func­tion (PUF)-concepts. Espe­cial­ly they enable manip­u­la­tion tests of big­ger struc­tures e.g. com­mer­cial com­put­ers and their periph­er­al. Our solu­tion pro­tects secret infor­ma­tion with­out using an attack detec­tion cir­cuit or data erase cir­cuit, known as a dif­fi­cult and yet unsolved prob­lem. We offer a solu­tion that extends exist­ing chip- or PCB-lev­el tam­per proofs and can be eas­i­ly retro­fit­ted.

What is the project’s goal?

Cyber-phys­i­cal sys­tems increas­ing­ly dom­i­nate every­day life and are often found in untrust­wor­thy envi­ron­ments in which sen­si­tive data worth pro­tect­ing are processed. In spite of secure com­mu­ni­ca­tion, data extrac­tion and/or manip­u­la­tion is often eas­i­ly pos­si­ble with phys­i­cal access to the com­po­nents. The aim of our project is to ver­i­fy the integri­ty of such sys­tems and to detect attack attempts and ini­ti­ate appro­pri­ate coun­ter­mea­sures.

What is so inno­v­a­tive about it?

The prop­a­ga­tion behav­iour of elec­tro­mag­net­ic waves enables the pro­tec­tion of indi­vid­ual com­po­nents to be extend­ed to the entire periph­ery of a sys­tem. This enables attacks, such as drilling into an ATM, to be detect­ed. In addi­tion, by deriv­ing cryp­to­graph­ic key mate­r­i­al from the unclon­able com­plex­i­ty of the envi­ron­ment, pro­tec­tion is cre­at­ed which pro­tects secret infor­ma­tion with­out attack detec­tion cir­cuit­ry and data era­sure cir­cuit­ry.

What is the added val­ue of the project?

Due to its gener­ic ori­en­ta­tion, the pro­tec­tion can be used flex­i­bly in size and appli­ca­tion and is char­ac­ter­ized by the fol­low­ing aspects:

▪ Cumu­la­tive ful­fil­ment of the require­ments for the ide­al pro­tec­tion of com­put­er sys­tems.
▪ Exten­sion of secu­ri­ty to the entire com­put­er periph­ery.
▪ Sim­ple reini­tial­iza­tion of the pro­tec­tion sys­tem.
▪ Con­sid­er­a­tion of miss­ing pow­er sup­ply and offline sce­nar­ios.
▪ Ver­sa­tile range of appli­ca­tions and retro­fitta­bil­i­ty of exist­ing sys­tems.


more information.




Your con­tact:

Dr. Christian Zenger

Dr. Christian Zenger


Dr. Chris­t­ian Zenger is CEO and founder of PHYSEC GmbH. He is born in cologne and came over Bosten to Bochum. Dr. Zenger devel­opes infor­­ma­­tion-the­o­ret­i­­cal and radio chan­nel-bases secu­ri­ty solu­tions and is inven­tor of var­i­ous wire­less phys­i­­cal-lay­er-secu­ri­­ty pro­ce­dures for the IoT ecosys­tem.


PGP — key: 40E72681

You can down­load Chris­t­ian Zenger’s dis­ser­ta­tion right here

← home | research →