International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paper: Nanofocused X-Ray Beam to Reprogram Secure Circuits

Stéphanie Anceau
Pierre Bleuet
Jessy Clédière
Laurent Maingault
Jean-luc Rainard
Rémi Tucoulou
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-66787-4_9
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Conference: CHES 2017
Award: Best Paper
Abstract: Synchrotron-based X-ray nanobeams are investigated as a tool to perturb microcontroller circuits. An intense hard X-ray focused beam of a few tens of nanometers is used to target the flash, EEPROM and RAM memory of a circuit. The obtained results show that it is possible to corrupt a single transistor in a semi-permanent state. A simple heat treatment can remove the induced effect, thus making the corruption reversible. An attack on a code stored in flash demonstrates unambiguously that this new technique can be a threat to the security of integrated circuits.
  title={Nanofocused X-Ray Beam to Reprogram Secure Circuits},
  booktitle={Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems – CHES 2017},
  series={Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
  author={Stéphanie Anceau and Pierre Bleuet and Jessy Clédière and Laurent Maingault and Jean-luc Rainard and Rémi Tucoulou},