Validating a high performance programmable secure coprocessor

In this case, the issue is not about stopping the user from breaking the equipment or hurting themselves, but about either stopping them from extracting codes, or acquiring and saving the decoded bitstream.

This is usually done by having many subsystem features buried within each chip (so that internal signals and states are inaccessible) and by making sure the buses between chips are encrypted.

For example, the proposed SSTAR will feature a combination of anti-tamper techniques that will make it difficult to get at the nuclear material, ensure that where the reactors are transported to is closely tracked, and have alarms in place that sound if attempts at entry are detected (which can then be responded to by the military).

Tamper resistance is sometimes needed in packaging, for example: Software is also said to be tamper-resistant when it contains measures to make reverse engineering harder, or to prevent a user from modifying it against the manufacturer's wishes (removing a restriction on how it can be used, for example). However, effective tamper resistance in software is much harder than in hardware, as the software environment can be manipulated to near-arbitrary extent by the use of emulation.

There are many reasons for employing tamper resistance.

Sometimes (especially in order to avoid litigation), manufacturers go further and use tamper-resistant screws, which cannot be unfastened with standard equipment.

Tamper-resistant screws are also used on electrical fittings in many public buildings primarily to reduce tampering or vandalism that may cause a danger to others.

Tamper resistance ranges from simple features like screws with special drives, more complex devices that render themselves inoperable or encrypt all data transmissions between individual chips, or use of materials needing special tools and knowledge.

Tamper-resistant devices or features are common on packages to deter package or product tampering.

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