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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S030867/1
Title: SIPP - Secure IoT Processor Platform with Remote Attestation
Principal Investigator: O'Neill, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Oswald, Dr D F Ryan, Professor M Moore, Professor S
Page, Dr D Watson, Dr R N M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
ARM Ltd Ericsson Nanyang Technological University
National Cyber Security Centre National University of Singapore Soitec SA
Department: Sch of Electronics, Elec Eng & Comp Sci
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2019 Ends: 31 August 2022 Value (£): 1,294,888
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Information & Knowledge Mgmt Mobile Computing
Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Mar 2019 Intl Centre to Centre Fulls Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
As the world becomes ever more connected, the vast number of Internet of things (IoT) devices necessitates the use of smart, autonomous machine-to-machine communications; however, this poses serious security and privacy issues as we will no longer have direct control over with what or whom our devices communicate. Counterfeit, hacked, or cloned devices acting on a network can have significant consequences: for individuals through the leakage of confidential and personal information, in terms of monetary costs (for e.g. the loss of access to web services - Mirai attack on Dyn took down Twitter, Spotify, Reddit); or for critical national infrastructure, through the loss of control of safety-critical industrial and cyber-physical IoT systems.

In addition, IoT devices are often low-cost, low power devices that are restricted in both memory and computing power. A major challenge is how to address the need for security in such resource-constrained devices. As companies race to get IoT devices to market, many do not consider security or, all too often, security is an afterthought. As such, a common theme in all realms of IoT is the need for dependability and security.



The SIPP project aims to rethink how security is built into IoT processor platforms. Firstly, the architectural fundamentals of a processor design need to be re-engineered to assure the security of individual on-chip components. This has become increasingly evident with the recent Spectre and Meltdown attacks. On the upper layer of systems-on-chip (SoCs), hardware authentication of chip sub-systems and the entire chip is crucial to detect malicious hardware modification. Then, at the systems layer (i.e., multiple chips on a common printed circuit board), innovative approaches for remote attestation will be investigated to determine the integrity at board level. Finally, the security achieved at all hierarchical layers will be assessed by investigating physical-level vulnerabilities to ensure there is no physical leakage of the secrets on which each layer relies.

The proposed project brings together the core partners of the NCSC/EPSRC-funded Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems (RISE), that is, Queen's University Belfast and the Universities of Cambridge, Bristol and Birmingham, with the leading academics in the field of hardware security and security architecture design from the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, to develop a novel secure IoT processor platform with remote attestation implemented on the RISC-V architecture.

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Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk