Enabling unauthorized RF transmission below noise floor with no detectable impact on primary communication performance

Doohwang Chang, Bertan Bakkaloglu, Sule Ozev

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

8 Scopus citations


With increasing diversity of supply chains from design to delivery, there is an increasing risk of unauthorized changes within an IC. One of the motivations for this type change is to learn important information (such as encryption keys, spreading codes) from the hardware and pass this information to a malicious party through wireless means. In order to evade detection, such unauthorized communication can be hidden within legitimate bursts of transmit signal. In this paper, we present a stealth circuit for unauthorized transmissions which can be hidden within the legitimate signal. A CDMA-based spread spectrum with a CDMA encoder is implemented with a handful of transistors. We show that the unauthorized signal does not alter the circuit performance while being easily detectable by the malicious receiver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE VLSI Test Symposium
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Print)9781479975976
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Event2015 33rd IEEE VLSI Test Symposium, VTS 2015 - Napa, United States
Duration: Apr 27 2015Apr 29 2015


Other2015 33rd IEEE VLSI Test Symposium, VTS 2015
CountryUnited States


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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