Slender PUF Protocol: A lightweight, robust, and secure authentication by substring matching


We introduce Slender PUF protocol, an efficient and secure method to authenticate the responses generated from a Strong Physical Unclonable Function (PUF). The new method is lightweight, and suitable for energy constrained platforms such as ultra-low power embedded systems for use in identification and authentication applications. The proposed protocol does not follow the classic paradigm of exposing the full PUF responses (or a transformation of the full string of responses) on the communication channel. Instead, random subsets of the responses are revealed and sent for authentication. The response patterns are used for authenticating the prover device with a very high probability.We perform a thorough analysis of the method’s resiliency to various attacks which guides adjustment of our protocol parameters for an efficient and secure implementation. We demonstrate that Slender PUF protocol, if carefully designed, will be resilient against all known machine learning attacks. In addition, it has the great advantage of an inbuilt PUF error tolerance. Thus, Slender PUF protocol is lightweight and does not require costly additional error correction, fuzzy extractors, and hash modules suggested in most previously known PUF-based robust authentication techniques. The low overhead and practicality of the protocol are confirmed by a set of hardware implementation and evaluations.

Journal article

M. Majzoobi, M. Rostami, F. Koushanfar, D. S. Wallach and S. Devadas, "Slender PUF Protocol: A lightweight, robust, and secure authentication by substring matching," IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy Wor, 2012.

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