Hardware-enabled secure firmware updates in embedded systems

Solon Falas, Charalambos Konstantinou, Maria K. Michael

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Firmware updates on embedded systems are essential for patching vulnerabilities and improving the functionality of devices. Despite the importance of firmware updates, manufacturers and firmware developers often consider firmware security as a secondary task. As a result, firmware often turns into an alluring target for adversaries to inject malicious code into embedded devices. In this work, we present a framework that supports secure and fast firmware update delivery with minimal downtime on embedded devices. The proposed framework makes use of cryptographic primitives implemented on hardware in addition to the device’s intrinsic physical characteristics acting as digital authentication fingerprints. Our implementation ensures firmware authenticity, confidentiality, and integrity. A proof-of-concept design is emulated on FPGA demonstrating high performance, strong security guarantees, and minimal hardware overhead.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9783030532727
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management


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