Industrial Authentication

Industrial control equipment such as programmable logic controllers, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), distributed control, and building automation systems are presently the target of cyber attacks. Some of these systems manage critical infrastructure such as electrical power distribution, water distribution, or sewage infrastructure where system failure is not an option. In all of these equipment types, various plug-in modules and sensors are integrated for system operation and control. If sourced from non-genuine channels, they could create catastrophic, destructive, and human-dangerous system behavior.

Because these industrial products can be expensive and in some cases produced in large quantities, there is a strong profit motive for counterfeiters to offer replacement or re-manufactured products that can be lower in price and quality.

Counterfeiters have the technology to reverse engineer simple authentication techniques like serial number IDs or simple password solutions. Therefore, the electronic authentication solution chosen for use with industrial products must offer strong authentication features in order to eliminate the possibility of non-genuine alternatives from being used. A crypto-strong method based on challenge-and-response authentication provides a solution that is backed by industry standards and practice.

Maxim's DeepCover® Secure Authenticators meet and exceed these requirements with features including Crypto based on symmetric-key SHA-256 (secure hash algorithm) or asymmetric-key ECDSA (elliptic-curve digital signature algorithm).

The following diagrams represent typical authentication applications for industrial products:

Application: PLC Module Authentication

PLC Module Authentication

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Application: Pre-pay Utility Meter

Pre-pay Utility Meter

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Application: On-Site Feature Enablement via Authenticated Smart Phone

On-Site Feature Enablement via Authenticated Smart Phone

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Application: "Feature Enabling" via Authentication Read

Feature Enabling via Authentication Read

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DeepCover Secure Authenticator with 1-Wire ECDSA and 1Kb User EEPROM

  • ECDSA Engine for Public-Key Signature Using a Defined SEC Domain Parameter Set
  • On-Chip Hardware Random Number Generator
  • Private and Public Key Can Be Computed by the Device or Loaded from Outside with Optional Automatic Locking

DeepCover Secure Authenticator with ISO 15693, I2C, SHA-256, and 4Kb User EEPROM

  • Complete Counterfeit/Cloning/IP Protection Engine
  • Flexible Connection and Communication Capabilities Support a Wide Range of Applications
  • Enables Robust Design

16-Bit Microcontrollers with Infrared Module and Optional USB

  • High-Performance, Low-Power, 16-Bit RISC Core
  • DC to 12MHz Operation Across Entire Operating Range
  • 1.70V to 3.6V Operating Voltage

DeepCover Secure Authenticator with ISO 15693, SHA-256, and 4Kb User EEPROM

  • Dedicated Hardware-Accelerated SHA Engine
  • Strong Authentication with a High Bit Count User-Programmable Secret and Input Challenge
  • 4096 Bits of User EEPROM with User-Programmable R/W

DeepCover Secure Authenticator with SHA-256 and RFID Reader

  • Secure, Contactless Host Authenticator
  • Design Flexibility Supports Diverse Applications
  • Scalable 13.56MHz Analog Front-End Provides Support for Multiple Antenna Configurations