Talk about denial-of-service attacks

Chip lock aims to end hardware piracy – Security – iTnews Australia:

Pirated microchips based on stolen blueprints could soon be a thing of the past thanks to computer engineers at Rice University and the University of Michigan. The boffins have devised a way to head off this costly infringement by giving each chip its own unique lock and key. The patent holder would hold the keys, and the chip would securely communicate with the patent-holder to unlock itself. The chip could operate only after being unlocked.

Just how you would determine that the chips have been purchased by a legitimate buyer before being activated isn’t clear to me. And if you’re really worried about pirating the design, pirates will have a fairly easy time excising that block of gates from the design. And last but not least, if it’s a one-time activation it changes best location for a theft, but if you have to activate repeatedly (on reboot or power-on or whatever) I can’t even imagine the nightmare when the activation servers go down…

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