Researchers are aiming to make networks more secure through the use of a memory hardware solution.
Dmitri Strukov and his team of researcher from the University of California Santa Barbara are reportedly working on putting an extra layer of security on devices that use the internet and Bluetooth. The researchers are said to be using a memory hardware solution that can prevent cloning.
Cloning is the practice of replicating the nodes within a network. Hackers use this technique to stage attacks from within the network itself.
“You can think of it as a black box,” Strunkov explained.
According to the researchers, the nature of their chip makes it unclonable. This is a vital feature that could potentially make any device invulnerable to hijacking, counterfeiting, and even replication by cybercriminals.
The new technology uses a memristor, an electrical resistance switch that has the capability to remember its state of resistance depending on its applied voltage and current history.
“The idea is that it’s hard to predict, and because it’s hard to predict, it’s hard to reproduce,” Strukov went on to say.
Apparently, the numerous possible inputs can produce as many outputs as well. The more memristors the hardware uses, the more possibilities it produces. This setup would require attackers to spend more time cloning devices.
“For instance, if you have 2 million outputs and the attacker sees 10,000 or 20,000 of these outputs, he can, based on that, train a model that can copy the system afterward,” Hussein Nili, the study‘s lead author, said.
The memristive black box could allegedly evade this method of attack as it makes the inputs and outputs’ relationship look random on the outside world. It does so in such a way that the internal mechanism of its circuits is reliably repeatable.
“It has to look random, but it should also be deterministic,” Nili added.
Right now, Strunkov and his team are refining the technology while investigating any possible drifts in its characteristics over time. They are also working on stronger security paths that “require larger memristive circuits and additional techniques” and weaker paths for consumer electronics and everyday gadgets.