MAGIC: Malicious aging in Circuits/Cores

Naghmeh Karimi, Arun Karthik Kanuparthi, Xueyang Wang, Ozgur Sinanoglu, Ramesh Karri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The performance of an IC degrades over its lifetime, ultimately resulting in IC failure. In this article, we present a hardware attack (called MAGIC) to maliciously accelerate NBTI aging effects in cores. In this attack, we identify the input patterns that maliciously age the pipestages of a core. We then craft a program that generates these patterns at the inputs of the targeted pipestage. We demonstrate the MAGIC-based attack on the OpenSPARC processor. Executing this program dramatically accelerates the aging process and degrades the processor's performance by 10.92% in 1 month, bypassing existing aging mitigation and timing-error correction schemes. We also present two low-cost techniques to thwart the proposed attack.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Hardware security
  • Malicious aging acceleration
  • NBTI aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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