Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Database Systems

pp 3191-3192

Trusted Hardware

  • Radu SionAffiliated withStony Brook University


Tamper-proof hardware; Secure hardware


Trusted Hardware is a broad term used to denote any hardware that has been certified to perform according to a certain set of requirements. Most often however, “trusted hardware” is discussed in adversarial contexts. The term has thus been somewhat hijacked to mean “tamper-proof” hardware, i.e., hardware designed to resist direct physical access adversaries. Often trusted hardware encompasses some cryptographic abilities, i.e., performing encryption and data authentication.

Key Points

Certification. The National Institute of Standards has established a set of standards for security requirements of cryptographic modules and specifically for physical properties and tamper-resistance thereof [2]. The FIPS 140–2 Level 4 certification is at present the highest-attainable hardware security in sensitive, non-classified domains. While a plethora of devices have undergone FIPS certification, the most common types ...

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