Trojan-net feature extraction and its application to hardware-Trojan detection for gate-level netlists using random forest

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    It has been reported that malicious third-party IC vendors often insert hardware Trojans into their IC products. How to detect them is a critical concern in IC design process. Machine-learning-based hardwareTrojan detection gives a strong solution to tackle this problem. HardwareTrojan infected nets (or Trojan nets) in ICs must have particular Trojan-net features, which differ from those of normal nets. In order to classify all the nets in a netlist designed by third-party vendors into Trojan nets and normal ones by machine learning, we have to extract effective Trojan-net features from Trojan nets. In this paper, we first propose 51 Trojan-net features which describe well Trojan nets. After that, we pick up random forest as one of the best candidates for machine learning and optimize it to apply to hardware-Trojan detection. Based on the importance values obtained from the optimized random forest classifier, we extract the best set of 11 Trojannet features out of the 51 features which can effectively classify the nets into Trojan ones and normal ones, maximizing the F-measures. By using the 11 Trojan-net features extracted, our optimized random forest classifier has achieved at most 100% true positive rate as well as 100% true negative rate in several Trust-HUB benchmarks and obtained the average F-measure of 79.3% and the accuracy of 99.2%, which realize the best values among existing machine-learning-based hardware-Trojan detection methods.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2857-2868
    Number of pages12
    JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1


    • Gate-level netlist
    • Hardware Trojan
    • Machine learning
    • Random forest
    • Trojan-net feature

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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