A team at Lockheed Martin plans to build an application-specific integrated circuit with security capabilities using an approach developed through a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program that seeks to protect electronic systems from vulnerabilities that are being exploited through software.
DARPA’s System Security Integration Through Hardware and Firmware program intends to develop hardware security tools and architectures to help safeguard electronic platforms from various classes of hardware vulnerabilities and put an end to the software patch and pray method, the agency said Wednesday.
Lockheed’s Hardware Architecture Resilience by Design approach developed through the SSITH program works to provide a hardware platform to protect systems from hardware vulnerabilities using a set of pipelines that could help track the stream of instructions on the primary CPU pipeline and detect exploitation attempts.
DARPA said HARD can be fielded to provide security across any CPU architecture and HARD pipelines could be combined to enable users to deploy security coverage to the target environment based on need.
The agency noted that Lockheed’s ASIC will include multiple peripheral interfaces and a dual-core Arm processor.
“By bringing HARD protections to an ASIC, we’re bringing SSITH technology one step closer to practical use,” said Keith Rebello, SSITH program manager.
“Lockheed Martin expects to spend the next two years transitioning HARD from the laboratory to a secure processor that we can integrate with other computing hardware, ultimately demonstrating SSITH’s ability to protect real-world systems from exploitation,” Rebello added.
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