DOI: 10.3390/s23167180 ISSN:

A Novel Approach of a Low-Cost Voltage Fault Injection Method for Resource-Constrained IoT Devices: Design and Analysis

Nicolás Ruminot, Claudio Estevez, Samuel Montejo-Sánchez
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry

The rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought about the processing and storage of sensitive information on resource-constrained devices, which are susceptible to various hardware attacks. Fault injection attacks (FIAs) stand out as one of the most widespread. Particularly, voltage-based FIAs (V-FIAs) have gained popularity due to their non-invasive nature and high effectiveness in inducing faults by pushing the IoT hardware to its operational limits. Improving the security of devices and gaining a comprehensive understanding of their vulnerabilities is of utmost importance. In this study, we present a novel fault injection method and employ it to target an 8-bit AVR microcontroller. We identify the optimal attack parameters by analyzing the detected failures and their trends. A case study is conducted to validate the efficacy of this new method in a more realistic scenario, focusing on a simple authentication method using the determined optimal parameters. This analysis not only demonstrates the feasibility of the V-FIA but also elucidates the primary characteristics of the resulting failures and their propagation in resource-constrained devices. Additionally, we devise a hardware/software countermeasure that can be integrated into any resource-constrained device to thwart such attacks in IoT scenarios.

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