Remanence Decay Side-Channel: The PUF Case

Shaza Zeitouni, Yossef Oren, Christian Wachsmann, Patrick Koeberl, Ahmad Reza Sadeghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We present a side-channel attack based on remanence decay in volatile memory and show how it can be exploited effectively to launch a noninvasive cloning attack against SRAM physically unclonable functions (PUFs)-an important class of PUFs typically proposed as lightweight security primitives, which use existing memory on the underlying device. We validate our approach using SRAM PUFs instantiated on two 65-nm CMOS devices. We discuss countermeasures against our attack and propose the constructive use of remanence decay to improve the cloning resistance of SRAM PUFs. Moreover, as a further contribution of independent interest, we show how to use our evaluation results to significantly improve the performance of the recently proposed TARDIS scheme, which is based on remanence decay in SRAM memory and used as a time-keeping mechanism for low-power clockless devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7366576
Pages (from-to)1106-1116
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • data remanence decay
  • fault injection attack
  • side-channel analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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