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Case Study

Timesys’ security expertise helps CNC machine manufacturer ensure its years of development and testing would be protected against counterfeiting and IP theft

The Challenge

The manufacturer of a CNC machine spent five years on developing their state-of-the-art precision cutting device and thousands of hours testing it. So the company needed to be sure the product couldn’t easily be counterfeited or the software extracted to steal the intellectual property.

The product was built using an NXP i.MX 6 based Variscite SOM and Variscite Yocto BSP, and the product engineering team had done some initial research on technologies they could apply to secure the device. However, the team had little embedded development experience and needed additional engineering expertise to provide options and recommendations for protecting their device against IP theft and to implement the agreed-on solution.

The company engaged with Timesys prior to heading into production, to tap Timesys’ deep experience in embedded system development and software security.

The Solution

To secure the device, Timesys:

  • Enabled secure boot/high assurance boot (HAB) which is support by i.MX 6 and hardened the system by disabling JTAG and serial console to prevent unauthorized access to the software in the filesystem,
  • Encrypted the entire image/filesystem using dm-crypt to protect the eMMC chip from being read and subsequently counterfeited if removed from the device,
  • Encrypted the update image since it contained the IP, and
  • Enabled secure firmware update to help prevent unauthorized/malicious software from being installed on the device.

The Benefits

Timesys provided the security expertise and embedded software engineering skill set needed to ensure the CNC machine manufacturer’s innovative technology would be protected against piracy and fraudulent imitation. By engaging with Timesys for Secure by Design Services, the company was able to deliver a secure product to market in a time- and cost-efficient way.

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