About

One of the biggest challenges facing European law enforcement agencies (LEAs) today, is the widespread use of digital, fully encrypted consumer devices. The use of encryption makes the lawful extraction of user data during any criminal investigation both challenging and time-consuming requiring specialist personnel and sophisticated, costly equipment. Fully invasive hardware analysis, in which the internals of integrated circuits (ICs) are examined for security faults that may be used to disrupt the chain of trust, are arguably the most promising, but also the most technologically demanding approach.

Vision

ForRES aims to combine the collective knowledge and technological capabilities of European LEAs and science institutes to push the boundary of IC reverse engineering by improving the techniques for analysis of integrated circuits, facilitating European cooperation through a unified tool-set and a platform for sharing knowledge as well as researching possibly vulnerable circuits in electronic devices.

Keyfacts

Reference

Reference Number:
101102622
Programme type:
Internal Security Fund (ISF) - Cybercrime and Digital investigations
Programme acronym:
ISF-2022-TF1-AG-CYBER

Duration

Project Start: 01.07.2023
24 Months

Cost and Funding

Costs:
€ 2.285.074,88
Funding:
90,00% EU-funded

Motivation

The consortium is composed of leading European experts in their fields who complement each other with their competencies and experience. The ForRES partners bring together unique key qualifications, enabling outstanding results needed to achieve the objectives. Moreover, the complementary expertise of the partners as a whole ensures that every task is performed with the most advanced techniques, and thus ground-breaking results should be expected. Based on the long-lasting experience of all project partners, we can ensure that the proposed results and objectives will be achieved in the most cost-effective way possible.

Mission and Objectives

The results of ForRES could be highly relevant for combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment by providing investigative tools, in particular to investigate fraud with a cybercrime component like crypto-currencies, for example by unlocking crypto-wallets, mobile phones and encrypted storage devices. 

Objectives:

  • improve the operational capacity of European LEAs​
  • perform fully invasive operations on leading-edge semiconductor devices​
  • develop necessary tools and methods to attack the hardware chain of trust​
  • advance the capability of extracting user data from highly integrated devices​
  • establish a platform for shared work on a topic (chip) to reduce the time and effort spent​
  • enhance the capability of the digital forensics’ experts

Work Packages

WP1

Coordination, Project and Ethics Management
40%
01.07.2023
30.06.2025
Tackling the operational administrative topics, focus on research and innovation activities , manage ethical and legal aspects, assure fair gender management and contribute to the overall impact of the project.

WP2

Sample preparation
40%
01.07.2023
30.06.2025
Low level preparation of modern devices to allow their in-depth analysis with the software developed in WP3 and the methods of WP4.

WP3

Analysis Software Development
40%
01.07.2023
30.06.2025
Development of software for the analysis of prepared devices which will support the forensic investigator during memory extraction and in-depth circuit analysis.

WP4

Explore the possibilities of low level circuit edits
40%
01.07.2023
30.06.2025
Development of methods that can be used to modify electronic circuits in order to circumvent memory read protections or to directly extract protected memory.

WP5

Library of known technologies and methods
40%
01.07.2023
30.06.2025
Development of a knowledge platform that can be used to record the encountered technologies and developed methods. It will also document all special tools used to prepare and analyse the system and archive resulting project files.

WP6

Communication, Dissemination & Exploitation
40%
01.07.2023
30.06.2025
WP6 will take care of the public image, communicate with interested parties outside the project and coordinate the publication of results developed within the project. Overall, the main aim is the contribution to the European Research Union.

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