A system that detects spy chips put on motherboard using AI or X-ray

Techniques to steal data with hands such as spyware stealing data from a smartphone secretly and spy chip stealing data set on a motherboard have appeared. In such a modern day, a system that can find a spy chip secretly packed in the motherboard, which seems to be greatly useful for enhancing user security, has been developed.

This Tech Would Have Spotted the Secret Chinese Chip in Seconds - IEEE Spectrum

In October 2018, Bloomberg reported that "Apple and Amazon have set up chips to steal data on their server's motherboard," the Chinese government spies for Supermicro motherboards used by Apple and Amazon for servers The chip was charged.

Bloomberg reports that the Apple & Amazon server was set up a chip to steal data to the Chinese People's Liberation Army's active force, Apple · Amazon completely denied - GIGAZINE

Amazon, Apple, Chinese government and Supermicro deny what Bloomberg reported, and some experts point out that there is little chance that top companies like Apple will miss a thing like a spy chip in the quality assurance process. However, Mark Tehranipoor , Director of Cyber ​​Security Laboratory, Florida, is convinced that there is a spy attack as reported by Bloomberg, and we are developing new technologies to deal with such attacks.

Tehranipoor's research team developed a system that discovers spy chips embedded in the motherboard by combining X-ray, optical imaging, AI, etc. The system is semi-automated, compares printed circuit boards and components of the chip with the original design drawing and finds "things not in the original design" like spy chips.

First of all, it starts from taking super high resolution photos of the front and back of the circuit board. A system using machine learning and AI algorithm recognizes the circuit on the photograph and identifies how the constituent elements are connected.

Subsequently, tomography is performed on the circuit board by using X-ray microtomography . According to Bloomberg, in the case of the Supermicro motherboard, there was also a chip for spy that was embedded in the motherboard, so there is a possibility that it could not be discovered unless tomographically.

Tehranipoor's team developed by the research team captures multiple 2D images taken and automatically analyzes them for each layer analysis.

Compare the tomographic data with the original design drawing and identify whether any elements are added, subtracted or changed in the manufacturing process.

Almost all of these processes are automated, Tehranipoor's research group aims to be able to analyze the motherboard without human assistance by the system.

The goal is to make it possible for the system to identify things such as "the physical values ​​of capacitors and resistors on the board have been changed" and "the interconnect dimensions have been slightly changed" which is more difficult to identify It seems to be said.

Tehranipoor says, "It is unclear why such a system is not popular at the time of article creation, but Tehranipoor says," I understood the real reason why companies are not using it though technology is ready " , He commented that he might not intentionally discover something like a spy chip on the Supermicro motherboard reported by Bloomberg.

in Software,   Security, Posted by logu_ii