Krentz, Konrad-Felix; Meinel, Christoph; Graupner, Hendrik
Proceedings of the 22nd IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC 2017)
Generating seeds on Internet of things (IoT) devices is challenging because these devices typically lack common entropy sources, such as user interaction or hard disks. A promising replacement is to use power-up static random-access memory (SRAM) states, which are partly random due to manufacturing deviations. Thus far, there, however, seems to be no method for extracting close-to-uniformly distributed seeds from power-up SRAM states in an information-theoretically secure and practical manner. Moreover, the min-entropy of power-up SRAM states reduces with temperature, thereby rendering this entropy source vulnerable to so-called freezing attacks. In this paper, we mainly make three contributions. First, we propose a new method for extracting uniformly distributed seeds from power-up SRAM states. Unlike current methods, ours is information-theoretically secure, practical, and freezing attack-resistant rolled into one. Second, we point out a trick that enables using power-up SRAM states not only for self-seeding at boot time, but also for reseeding at runtime. Third, we compare the energy consumption of seeding an IoT device either with radio noise or power-up SRAM states. While seeding with power-up SRAM states turned out to be more energy efficient, we argue for mixing both these entropy sources.