Today’s societies critically depend on electronic systems. Past spectacular cyber-attacks have clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of existing systems and the need to prevent such attacks in the future. The majority of available cyber-defenses concentrate on protecting the software part of electronic systems or their communication interfaces. However, manufacturing technology advancements and the increasing hardware complexity provide a large number of challenges so that the focus of attackers has shifted towards the hardware level. In particular, we saw already evidence for powerful and successful hardware-level attacks that circumvent any software-level security mechanisms, including Rowhammer, Meltdown and Spectre.
These attacks happened on products built using state-of-the-art microelectronic technology, however, we are facing completely new security challenges due to the ongoing transition to radically new types of nano-electronic devices, such as memristors, spintronics, or carbon nanotubes.
The main objective of the Priority Programme is to understand the implications of emerging nano-electronics to system security.
Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 4 September 2019.