Friday, March 7, 2014


DARPA has announced a new program on hardware assurance; here is the DARPA press release.  The SAE AS5553A standard, which we have discussed before in this blog, defines documentation procedures used to keep track of hardware provenance.  SHIELD is a much more automated approach to this problem.

The SHIELD program aims at designing a small chip that can be affixed on components.  A handheld device can then be used interrogate the device and verify that the tag identifies the proper device.   The device is designed to be cheap---less than a penny---and to be resistant to tampering.

DARPA lists several thread models that are of interest to them: recycled components sold as new; unauthorized overproduction of authorized components; substandard components sold as new; parts remarked with higher reliability or newer manufacturing dates; out-and-out copies; parts that are repackaged and destined for unauthorized applications.

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