Volume 14, Number 3

A New Security Boundary of Component Differentially Challenged XOR Pufs
Against Machine Learning Modeling Attacks


Gaoxiang Li1, Khalid T. Mursi2, Ahmad O. Aseeri3, Mohammed S. Alkatheiri2 and Yu Zhuang1, 1Texas Tech University, USA 2University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 3Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia


Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) are promising security primitives for resource-constrained network nodes. The XOR Arbiter PUF (XOR PUF or XPUF) is an intensively studied PUF invented to improve the security of the Arbiter PUF, probably the most lightweight delay-based PUF. Recently, highly powerful machine learning attack methods were discovered and were able to easily break large-sized XPUFs, which were highly secure against earlier machine learning attack methods. Component-differentially-challenged XPUFs (CDC-XPUFs) are XPUFs with different component PUFs receiving different challenges. Studies showed they were much more secure against machine learning attacks than the conventional XPUFs, whose component PUFs receive the same challenge. But these studies were all based on earlier machine learning attack methods, and hence it is not clear if CDC-XPUFs can remain secure under the recently discovered powerful attack methods. In this paper, the two current most powerful two machine learning methods for attacking XPUFs are adapted by fine-tuning the parameters of the two methods for CDCXPUFs. Attack experiments using both simulated PUF data and silicon data generated from PUFs implemented on field-programmable gate array (FPGA) were carried out, and the experimental results showed that some previously secure CDC-XPUFs of certain circuit parameter values are no longer secure under the adapted new attack methods, while many more CDC-XPUFs of other circuit parameter values remain secure. Thus, our experimental attack study has re-defined the boundary between the secure region and the insecure region of the PUF circuit parameter space, providing PUF manufacturers and IoT security application developers with valuable information in choosing PUFs with secure parameter values.


Network security, Resource-constrained network, IoT security, XOR-PUF, CDC-XPUF, Machine learning attack.