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Cyclone FX Anti-Tamper Features
John L. May 2, 2016 at 10:08 AM (10:08 hours)
Staff: Kevin A. P.

  • I am interested in knowing more about the anti-tamper and security features of the Cyclone FX. The manual does not describe these features well. I wanted to confirm/understand the following. This is independent of chip security which I do understand. My goal is to have a programmer with a secure image and the ability to use an encrypted mechanism to supply an image to a contract manufacturer using the programmer.

    1. Does it provide for secure image management on the programmer?
    2. Is there a mechanism to create encrypted images that can be sent to the programmer without the ability of reverse engineering the image files. Standard HEX and S-Records are not encrypted and can be reverse engineered.

    If there are any additional documents or white papers, I would be interested in seeing them.



    • John,

      A few thoughts:

      (1) Images today are encoded in such a way that to reverse engineer them would be difficult. They are not like an s-record or a binary file which are pretty much open. The images are not keyed to a specific Cyclone and can be used on any Cyclone.

      (2) Anti-Tamper means a few things to us : Our external memories in the Cyclone use industry standard encryption which is unique to each Cyclone Unit to prevent someone from reading anything out of our memories, similarly our SDCards are encrypted with encryption specific to the card so they can't be copied to a different card, our processor is secure, we detect tampering with our clock,etc.

      (3) We are releasing a update to the Cyclone Universal FX at the end of may which will allow you do do a few things:

      (A) Adds the ability for you to add industry standard encryption to an image which is only decryptable by the Cyclone units into which you have put the unlock key into. The idea being that you would create a "MyCompanyKey" once and load it into the Cyclones which belong to you once. Then, whenever you generate the image, you make sure that the "MyCompanyKey" is specified as the image encryption. At that point, only your Cyclone units (having the unlock key) can understand the images.

      (B) Limiting images to specific programming counts and date ranges (the Cyclone FX has an internal clock).




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