App note: Enhancing system security with Macronix(TM) flash

Technical note from Macronix about built-in and hardware security strategies on their flash memories. Link here (PDF)

Attacks on a system typically alter or copy the content of the Flash image for three primary reasons, which are to:

  • operate the system in an unauthorized manner with the purpose of committing fraud against the user or service provider.
  • disrupt the functionality of many systems through a denial of service.
  • reverse-engineer the system in order to clone its data/code or to exploit its security weaknesses.

To achieve the above goals, both hardware and software skills are needed. The attack may come from direct tampering of a single system or from software spread through viruses in connected devices. The systems that more frequently have to deal with security are those connected to payment/billing services such as Set-Top Box, mobile devices (such as smart phones) and metering devices.

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