CAD for Assurance of Electronic Systems


By: Abdulrahman Alaql, Xinmu Wang, Md Moshiur Rahman, and Swarup Bhunia

Stage: Security Analysis of Gate-Level Netlist Obfuscation

(a) An overview of the major steps in SOMA, where the inputs are the locked circuit and the attack database. (b) An illustration of an attack sequence applied to the locked circuit.


  • We introduce a novel combined attack modality, referred to as SOMA, which relies on judiciously combining the existing attacks to produce a significantly more powerful one.
  • We demonstrate that such an attack can expose hidden exploits and measure the level of security offered by a given obfuscation technique.
  • SOMA creates a sequence of attacks, where the outcome of each attack is used to guide the next and concludes with a key-refinement measure to restore the functionality of a locked IP.
  • We demonstrate that SOMA can easily break major existing locking schemes that are believed to be secure with an attack accuracy average of 94.88%.


Abdulrahman Alaql

Input/Output Interface

  • Input: Locked Circuit (bench format)
  • Output: Key Extraction Report.


  • ABC Compiler.
  • Synopsys VCS.

Licensing Info

For educational use only.