Authentication protects systems and securely controls IoT nodes

October 06, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Maxim’s DeepCover Secure Authenticator, DS28C36, provides public-key and secret-key crypto functions that support new levels of embedded security protection; developers of industrial, medical, and IoT products now have an added level of IP and device integrity protection.

Helping to integrate strong defences into products and systems, the DS28C36 provides a targeted set of asymmetric-key and symmetric-key cryptographic tools in a low cost and compact solution. Asymmetric public-key features are supported with the P256 based elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) algorithm and symmetric secret-key with SHA-256.

 

The DS28C36 provides two authenticated GPIO pins with optional secure state control and level sensing as well as a function to enhance secure download/boot features. The device also integrates sophisticated countermeasures to protect against invasive and noninvasive security attacks. End applications include bi-directional authentication, secure storage of system data (such as system crypto keys), verification of system-critical data, secure boot, and end product usage control. For applications where the host system microcontroller has insufficient computing resources for ECC algorithms or lacks required secure storage for a SHA-256 symmetric key, the DS2476 is a companion co-processor to the DS28C36.

 

The device helps prevent counterfeits: secure authentication functions stop cloning. It securely manages system use/features, configured to monitor/limit peripheral usage with authenticated EEPROM settings and a 17-bit decrement-only counter. It ensures data integrity: robust secure download/boot functions combined with GPIO pins prevent malicious system attacks; it safeguards critical system data: stored sensitive data is only accessible through encrypted R/W with a key established through a Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) based protocol.

 

Samples, C-source code, and evaluation kits are available now. In a 3 x 3 mm TDFN package that operates across the -40 to +85C temperature range, pricing starts at $1.08 (1,000).

 

Maxim Integrated; http://bit.ly/DS28C36