Hardware-trojans rank: Quantitative evaluation of security threats at gate-level netlists by pattern matching

Masaru Oya, Noritaka Yamashita, Toshihiko Okamura, Yukiyasu Tsunoo, Masao Yanagisawa, Nozomu Togawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Since digital ICs are often designed and fabricated by third parties at any phases today, we must eliminate risks that malicious attackers may implement Hardware Trojans (HTs) on them. In particular, they can easily insert HTs during design phase. This paper proposes an HT rank which is a new quantitative analysis criterion against HTs at gate-level netlists. We have carefully analyzed all the gate-level netlists in Trust-HUB benchmark suite and found out several Trojan net features in them. Then we design the three types of Trojan points: feature point, count point, and location point. By assigning these points to every net and summing up them, we have the maximum Trojan point in a gate-level netlist. This point gives our HT rank. The HT rank can be calculated just by net features and we do not perform any logic simulation nor random test. When all the gate-level netlists in Trust-HUB, ISCAS85, ISCAS89 and ITC99 benchmark suites as well as several OpenCores designs, HT-free and HT-inserted AES netlists are ranked by our HT rank, we can completely distinguish HT-inserted ones (which HT rank is ten or more) from HT-free ones (which HT rank is nine or less). The HT rank is the world-first quantitative criterion which distinguishes HT-inserted netlists from HT-free ones in all the gate-level netlists in Trust-HUB, ISCAS85, ISCAS89, and ITC99.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2335-2347
Number of pages13
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec


  • A quantitative criterion
  • Design phase
  • Gate-level netlist
  • Hardware Trojans
  • Pattern matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Hardware-trojans rank: Quantitative evaluation of security threats at gate-level netlists by pattern matching'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this