PHYLAX: Snapshot-based profiling of real-time embedded devices via JTAG interface

Charalambos Konstantinou, Eduardo Chielle, Michail Maniatakos

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

10 Scopus citations


Real-time embedded systems play a significant role in the functionality of critical infrastructure. Legacy microprocessor-based embedded systems, however, have not been developed with security in mind. Applying traditional security mechanisms in such systems is challenging due to computing constraints and/or real-time requirements. Their typical 20-30 year lifespan further exacerbates the problem. In this work, we propose PHYLAX, a plug-and-play solution to detect intrusions in already installed embedded devices. PHYLAX is an external monitoring tool which does not require code instrumentation. Also, our tool adapts and prioritizes intrusion detection based on the requirements of the underlying infrastructure (power grid, chemical factory, etc.) as well as the computing capabilities of the target embedded system (CPU model, memory size, etc.). PHYLAX can be employed on any legacy device which incorporates a JTAG interface. As a case study, we present the inclusion of PHYLAX on a power grid recloser controller.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9783981926316
StatePublished - Apr 19 2018
Externally publishedYes


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