School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Detecting Hardware Trojans

Internships Summer 2017/18

Proposed Project Title:

  • Detecting Hardware Trojans

Principal Supervisor(s):
  • Professor Máire O’Neill

Project Description:

With continued improvements in semiconductor manufacturing, it is now possible to implement very complex systems on a single chip, which has led to the availability of multi-functional mobile devices such as smart phones, iPads, etc.

However, due to the complexity of these devices and for economic reasons, different parts of the system, such as intellectual property (IP) cores, are purchased from third party vendors, and the fabrication process may be outsourced. However, due to untrusted third parties being involved in different parts of the design stages, there is growing concern over security and the possibility of Hardware Trojan insertions.

As the name suggests, a Hardware Trojan is an intentional modification to a circuit that may alter its functionality, cause the design to leak sensitive information or affect its performance or reliability.

  • To survey state of the art in hardware Trojan designs and detection techniques.
  • To implement a sequentially triggered Trojan within a hardware design of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm.
  • To propose suitable detection techniques to detect the Trojan.
  • To implement and demonstrate one suitable detection technique.


Academic Requirements:

The scheme is open to all EEECS Undergraduates (apart from students on the BIT degree pathway and students who are due to graduate this summer)

General Information:

Each internship will last between 6-8 weeks and will pay a weekly stipend of £200.

Accommodation and travel costs are not provided under this scheme.

Start date: June 2017

Duration: 8 (Weeks)

Location: ECIT

Further information available at:

Contact details:

Supervisor Name: Máire O’Neill

Queens University of Belfast
School of EEECS,
NI Science Park,
Queen’s Road,
Queen’s Island,

Tel: +44 (0)28 90971785