Zhiqian Chen, Liang Zhao


Circuit obfuscation is a recently proposed defense mechanism to protect digital integrated circuits (ICs) from reverse engineering by using camouflaged gates i.e., logic gates whose functionality cannot be precisely determined by the attacker. There have been effective schemes such as satisfiability-checking (SAT)-based attacks that can potentially decrypt obfuscated circuits, called deobfuscation. Deobfuscation runtime could have a large span ranging from few milliseconds to thousands of years or more, depending on the number and layouts of the ICs and camouflaged gates. And hence accurately pre-estimating the deobfuscation runtime is highly crucial for the defenders to maximize it and optimize their defense. However, estimating the deobfuscation runtime is a challenging task due to 1) the complexity and heterogeneity of graph-structured circuit, 2) the unknown and sophisticated mechanisms of the attackers for deobfuscation. To address the above mentioned challenges, this work proposes the first machine-learning framework that predicts the deobfuscation runtime based on graph deep learning techniques. Specifically, we design a new model, ICNet with new input and convolution layers to characterize and extract graph frequencies from ICs, which are then integrated by heterogeneous deep fully-connected layers to obtain final output. ICNet is an end-to-end framework which can automatically extract the determinant features for deobfuscation runtime. Extensive experiments demonstrate its effectiveness and efficiency.


Publication Details

Date of publication:
February 14, 2019
Cornell University
Publication note:

Zhiqian Chen, Gaurav Kolhe, Setareh Rafatirad, Sai Manoj P. D., Houman Homayoun, Liang Zhao, Chang-Tien Lu: Estimating the Circuit Deobfuscating Runtime based on Graph Deep Learning. CoRR abs/1902.05357 (2019)