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Black Box: A Chip That Makes Hacking Impossible

In an era of Machine Learning (ML)-enabled hacking, in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is trained to "learn" and model inputs and outputs, a new chip-based technology termed as a "black box" can thwart hackers' plans, say researchers.

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Due to its nature, the chip is physically unclonable and can, thus, render the device invulnerable to hijacking, counterfeiting or replication by cyber-criminals. Pixabay

In an era of Machine Learning (ML)-enabled hacking, in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is trained to “learn” and model inputs and outputs, a new chip-based technology termed as a “black box” can thwart hackers’ plans, say researchers.

According to Computer Science Professor Dmitri Strukov from the University of California-Santa Barbara, he and his team were looking to put an extra layer of security on devices.

The result is a chip that deploys “ionic memristor” technology.

Key to this technology is the memristor, or memory resistor — an electrical resistance switch that can “remember” its state of resistance based on its history of applied voltage and current.

With ML, an attacker doesn't even need to know what exactly is occurring as the computer is trained on a series of inputs and outputs of a system
Due to its nature, the chip is physically unclonable and can, thus, render the device invulnerable to hijacking, counterfeiting or replication by cyber-criminals. pixabay

A circuit made of memristors results in a “black box” of sorts, as Strukov called it, with outputs extremely difficult to predict based on the inputs.

“You can think of it as a black box. Due to its nature, the chip is physically unclonable and can, thus, render the device invulnerable to hijacking, counterfeiting or replication by cyber-criminals,” said Strukov in a paper which appeared in the journal Nature Electronics.

With ML, an attacker doesn’t even need to know what exactly is occurring as the computer is trained on a series of inputs and outputs of a system.

Due to its nature, the chip is physically unclonable and can, thus, render the device invulnerable to hijacking, counterfeiting or replication by cyber-criminals
Representational image. Pixabay

“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 afterwards,” said Hussein Nili, the paper’s lead author.

The “memristive black box” can circumvent this method of attack because it makes the relationship between inputs and outputs look random enough to the outside world even as the circuits’ internal mechanisms are repeatable enough to be reliable.

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“If we scale it a little bit further, it’s going to be hardware which could be, in many metrics, the state-of-the-art,” Strukov noted. (IANS)

Next Story

New Device to Detect Low Fluoride in Water

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set 1.5 mg/litre as the maximum limit for fluoride in drinking water

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Orcas
This September 2015 photo from NOAA Fisheries shows an adult female orca and her calf, in Washington state's Puget Sound. Researchers reported Jan. 11, 2019, that there's a new calf among killer whales that live in the waters between Washington state and Canada. VOA

Researchers have built a new device to accurately measure fluoride concentrations using only a few drops of water with even low contamination, finds a new study.

In India, low concentration of fluoride – below 1.5 mg/litre – is used to prevent tooth decay and strengthening of bones. But if it touches above 2 ppm it could cause serious health issues, like dental and bone disease, especially in children and developing foetuses.

That’s where the device – SION-105 – comes in. It’s portable, considerably cheaper than ones in use now, and can be used on-site by anyone. In addition, it is luminescent by default, but darkens when it encounters fluoride ions.

Measuring fluoride at low concentrations with sufficient accuracy is expensive and requires a well-equipped chemical lab.

australia, underwater
A man snorkels in an area called the “Coral Gardens” near Lady Elliot Island, on the Great Barrier Reef, off Queensland, Australia, June 11, 2015. Scientists recently found similar-looking coral reefs in much deeper water off Tasmania. VOA

Kyriakos Stylianou at EPFL Valais Wallis in Switzerland said SION-105 detects fluorides by adding only a few droplets of water and by monitoring the colour change of the metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).

The study was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Also Read- Bollywood Tells Stories About Love, But Also Highlights Stalking

Adding fluoride to water has been a common practice in many countries, including the US, Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, India and Vietnam, especially in low concentrations – below 1.5 mg/litre.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set 1.5 mg/litre as the maximum limit for fluoride in drinking water. (IANS)