Execution of Provably Secure Assays on MEDA Biochips to Thwart Attacks

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Digital microfluidic biochips (DMFBs) have emerged as a promising platform for DNA sequencing, clinical chemistry, and point-of-care diagnostics. Recent research has shown that DMFBs are susceptible to various types of malicious attacks. Defenses proposed thus far only offer probabilistic guarantees of security due to the limitation of on-chip sensor resources. A micro-electrode-dot-array (MEDA) biochip is a next-generation DMFB that enables the sensing of on-chip droplet locations, which are captured in the form of a droplet-location map. We propose a security mechanism that validates assay execution by reconstructing the sequencing graph (i.e., the assay specification) from the droplet-location maps and comparing it against the golden sequencing graph. We prove that there is a unique (one-to-one) mapping from the set of droplet-location maps (over the duration of the assay) to the set of possible sequencing graphs. Any deviation in the droplet-location maps due to an attack is detected by this countermeasure because the resulting derived sequencing graph is not isomorphic to the original sequencing graph. We highlight the strength of the security mechanism by simulating attacks on real-life bioassays






Chakrabarty, K, Tung-Che Liang, Mohammed Shayan and Ramesh Karri (2018). Execution of Provably Secure Assays on MEDA Biochips to Thwart Attacks. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17636.

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