The Anti-Tamper Protection program is developing innovative techniques and technologies to protect critical technology (CT) and critical program information (CPI) contained in U.S. military systems from tampering and reverse engineering.
The U.S. Navy spends billions of dollars to achieve a technological advantage on the battlefield. If that critical technology is not protected, that advantage will be lost. The AT program is developing measures to protect against the tampering and reverse engineering of Navy and Marine Corps systems. These advances can deter or delay information compromise due to combat losses, foreign military sales, joint U.S./foreign production or espionage.
The AT program consists of three thrusts: tamper event monitoring, hardware/software destruction and obfuscation of anti-tamper measures.
Current projects are developing trigger mechanisms that monitor CT and CPI to accurately sense, detect and classify tamper events. Efforts apply an appropriate penalty without any indications to the adversary that the CT and CPI are being monitored. Project teams are also delivering hardware and software destruction technologies that can be applied in varying layers to effectively destroy CT and CPI without any indications to the adversary of the specific destruct mechanisms being employed. Lastly, these efforts will ensure that the AT protection measures are obscured in various ways so that adversaries may not reverse engineer the protection measures, rendering them ineffective.
Technical approaches that are being pursued include wafer level hardware and firmware to protect CT and CPI, low- or no-power sensors to detect tampering and reverse engineering, and low- or no-power destruction mechanisms. Performers are also developing and combining multiple advanced electronic packaging techniques at the board and component level to provide