School of Computer Science

Module 06-28217 (2019)

Hardware and Embedded Systems Security

Level 4/M

David Oswald Semester 2 10 credits
Co-ordinator: David Oswald
Reviewer: Flavio Garcia

The Module Description is a strict subset of this Syllabus Page.


This module teaches the constructive and destructive side of hardware security. In the first part, students learn to efficiently implement cryptography on embedded devices (using a microcontroller). The first half of the module includes an implementation assignment, which is solved during the lab time. In the second half, techniques to attack embedded systems (e.g., side-channel analysis) are presented. The implementations from part one are practically attacked with the introduced methods. The students will learn to use oscilloscopes and other tools used for security analyses. The module concludes with an overview of countermeasures for securing embedded cryptographic algorithms.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  1. Understand the basics of embedded systems and electronics
  2. Efficiently implement cryptographic algorithms on resource-constrained embedded devices (in C / assembly)
  3. Perform basic implementation attacks (e.g. side-channel analysis) on embedded devices
  4. Understand countermeasures against the introduced attacks




Teaching methods

1 hr lecture, 2hr practical a week

Contact Hours:



Sessional: Coursework (50%), Exam (50%).

Supplementary (where allowed): Replacement coursework set over the summer (50%), Replacement exam (50%).

Detailed Syllabus

Not applicable

Programmes containing this module