Security Issues in Cyberphysical Digital Microfluidic Biochips
Among recent technological advances, microfluidic biochips have been leading a prominent solution for healthcare and miniaturized bio-laboratories with the assurance of high sensitivity and reconfigurability. The main challenge in design automation of microfluidic biochips is to incorporate on-chip mixing and dilution of biochemical reagents and samples to achieve a desired concentration required for bioprotocols. The heuristic must be able to minimize sample, buffer and wastage as much as possible in such a way that desired concentration factor is achieved in a minimum number of mix/split cycles. In last decades, Digital microfluidic (DMF) biochip industry has been grown exponentially due to its so many advantages in the field of healthcare firms. As a result, the chance of attacking biochip by malicious people to alter its operation and waste of more costly samples is increased day by day. Hence, researchers need to search new directions that will provide security aspects for DMF biochips. Moreover, on increasing more unreliable communication networks day-by-day, technological shifts in the fields of communication and security are now converging. In today’s cyber threat landscape, these microfluidic biochips are ripe targets of powerful cyber-attacks from different hackers or cyber criminals. Different attacks specifically, hardware Trojans in microfluidic biochips can jeopardize the healthcare industries. As a result, securing such systems is of paramount importance. For past few years, checkpoints and error recovery mechanisms have attracted researchers’ attention. Unfortunately, such research works are not sufficient to protect actuation sequence/activation sequence and layout of DMF biochip from intellectual property (IP) theft. Also, these works are incapable of handling more than one hardware Trojan insertion into chip. Those research works on checkpoint minimization does not guarantee about optimal solution. Hence, further research work is essential to meet the challenges of checkpoint minimization, hardware Trojans, man-in-the-middle attack, and IP piracy to DMF biochips and find out the respective actions which should be taken to offset the security vulnerabilities in biochip for its trustworthy and reliability before any attack jeopardizes the world of healthcare, biological and biochemical industries. This presentation presents the security aspects of the IP for digital microfluidic biochips to avoid its IP theft/piracy without any hardware modification, and important field used to protect the confidentiality of IP from unscrupulous people and man-in-the-middle attack. We propose an authentication mechanism with an error control mechanism that provides reliability, authentication, trustworthy and safety for both storage and communication of IP used by IP designers for digital microfluidic biochip. Furthermore, we describe systematic algorithms to minimize the time requirements for achieving the desired goals so that the chance of an attack is reduced, and hence, to enhance the security concerns of microfluidic biochips. Simulation results articulate the efficacy of the proposed security model without overhead of the bioprotocol completion time. We hope to develop a secure design flow for DMF biochips to achieve better resistant to any attack on such biochips for a better sustainable biochip world.