A hardware-trojans identifying method based on trojan net scoring at gate-level netlists

Masaru Oya, Youhua Shi, Noritaka Yamashita, Toshihiko Okamura, Yukiyasu Tsunoo, Satoshi Goto, Masao Yanagisawa, Nozomu Togawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Outsourcing IC design and fabrication is one of the effective solutions to reduce design cost but it may cause severe security risks. Particularly, malicious outside vendors may implement Hardware Trojans (HTs) on ICs. When we focus on IC design phase, we cannot assume an HT-free netlist or a Golden netlist and it is too difficult to identify whether a given netlist is HT-free or not. In this paper, we propose a score-based hardware-trojans identifying method at gate-level netlists without using a Golden netlist. Our proposed method does not directly detect HTs themselves in a gate-level netlist but it detects a net included in HTs, which is called Trojan net, instead. Firstly, we observe Trojan nets from several HT-inserted benchmarks and extract several their features. Secondly, we give scores to extracted Trojan net features and sum up them for each net in benchmarks. Then we can find out a score threshold to classify HTfree and HT-inserted netlists. Based on these scores, we can successfully classify HT-free and HT-inserted netlists in all the Trust-HUB gate-level benchmarks and ISCAS85 benchmarks as well as HT-free and HT-inserted AES gate-level netlists. Experimental results demonstrate that our method successfully identify all the HT-inserted gate-level benchmarks to be "HTinserted" and all the HT-free gate-level benchmarks to be "HT-free" in approximately three hours for each benchmark.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2537-2546
Number of pages10
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1


  • Classification
  • Gate-level netlist
  • Golden-IC free
  • Hardware trojans
  • Identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Signal Processing


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