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Training Platform for Improved Cyberattack and Hardware Security Education

Provides a Hands-on Platform for Students to Learn and Experiment with Hacking and Hardware Security

This hardware security training platform uses various hardware components integrated onto a printed circuit board (PCB) to facilitate targeted experiments, developing a user’s skill in hardware security. As technological devices become more complex and interconnected, the demand for mechanisms to validate and protect cyber and hardware systems has increased, resulting in the emergence of hardware security engineering. Security engineers examine various device exposures and design methods to minimize susceptibility to foreign invasion and tampering, such as buffer overflow or Trojan attacks. To better prepare next-generation hardware security engineers, universities, engineering firms, and technical vocational schools provide rigorous training through modules involving hacking experiments focused on concepts such as logic design, lower-level programming, or encryption/decryption algorithms. However, available hardware security training platforms do not provide those preparing for technical internships or professions with comprehensive and hands-on experience defending hardware systems from hacks or cyberattacks.


Researchers at the University of Florida have developed an integrated PCB training platform that combines over twenty crucial hardware security experiments to better prepare technical students to defend against cybersecurity threats. Through the various computing hardware components and compatible software packages, users conduct hands-on experiments in the field of hardware security and gain experience protecting hardware systems from cyberattacks.




Integrated training and experimentation platform for better preparing computer engineering students and employees at technical universities or firms to protect hardware systems from various cybersecurity breaches



  • Provides hands-on hardware security experience, engaging computer engineering students in potential real-life situations
  • Incorporates various hardware components, such as an FPGA and a microcontroller onto a printed circuit board, providing flexibility to design debugging projects and other experiments that target specific training needs
  • Combines numerous hardware security experiments into one platform, simplifying the training process and minimizing costs to individuals and educational institutions



This training platform includes numerous electrical components that students employ as they conduct various hardware security experiments. Among the components includes an Atmel microcontroller, an FPGA chip, LEDs, switches, Bluetooth sensors, and others which are all soldered onto a single printed circuit board (PCB). Using this PCB and accompanying experiment modules, students perform various hardware engineering tasks that will prepare them for real-world threats to cybersecurity. For instance, the FPGA and external EEPROM train students to design large logical circuits that detect potential foreign attacks.

Patent Information: