Welcome to HEADS Lab

HEADS Hardware and Embedded Design and Security LAB



The Hardware and Embedded Design and Security  (HEADS) has been established in August 2017 under the direction of Dr. Fareena Saqib.

Our research addresses new hardware-oriented capabilities and mechanisms for protecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices and enhance the security capability of emerging applications. At HEADS, we focus on hardware-based authentication framework using strong physical unclonable functions (PUFs), new authentication techniques, incorporating lightweight cryptographic primitives, and novel pre-boot authentication and storage encryption functions for trusted platform modules (TPM).

Furthermore, Secret keys that are stored and used within physical devices can be extracted by adversaries. The attacks involve measuring the power consumption or electromagnetic radiation emanating from the chip as it carries out encryption, and then analyzing them to deduce the secret key. We are investigating techniques that self-mutate the hardware at runtime as a means of significantly reducing and ideally eliminating signal information leveraged by the adversary. The research carried out investigates side-channel leakage, particularly as it relates to signal propagation paths within the encryption engine. A hardware description of the proposed self-mutating hardware is implemented on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) using dynamic partial reconfiguration.



University of Florida, University of New Mexico, University of Maryland Baltimore County and University of North Carolina at Charlotte.