Research Project: Active Shield design and its implementation on ASIC

Invasive attacks on integrated circuits used in security critical applications are no longer only a part of the script of the American action spy movie Mission Impossible. In microprobing attack, invasive attacker can change the connections of internal wires and monitor the signal on data buses and/or memory elements. Therefore sensitive information like cryptographic key can be obtained.

Hardware security modules (HSMs) is secure cryptographic processes by generating, protecting, and managing keys used for encrypting and decrypting data and creating digital signatures and certificates. HSM is used primarily by the banking industry to provide high levels of protection for cryptographic keys and customer PINs.

Procenne Digital Security, a national HSM producer company based in Turkey, has started  the project (named Active Shield ) to develop its own measures against microprobing attacks in cooperation with ITU Embedded System Design Laboratory.

Active Shield design and its implementation on Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) is supported by TUBITAK 1505 University-Industry Cooperation Support Program.

Web page of the project:


The automatically generated shield which is resistant to invasive attacks with its randomized 2D architecture.


Shield and its digitial circuits on the test IC.