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Roshanisefat, Shervin, Mardani Kamali, Hadi, Sasan, Avesta.  2018.  SRCLock: SAT-Resistant Cyclic Logic Locking for Protecting the Hardware. Proceedings of the 2018 on Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI. :153-158.

In this paper, we claim that cyclic obfuscation, when properly implemented, poses exponential complexity on SAT or CycSAT attack. The CycSAT, in order to generate the necessary cycle avoidance clauses, uses a pre-processing step. We show that this pre-processing step has to compose its cycle avoidance condition on all cycles in a netlist, otherwise, a missing cycle could trap the SAT solver in an infinite loop or force it to return an incorrect key. Then, we propose several techniques by which the number of cycles is exponentially increased with respect to the number of inserted feedbacks. We further illustrate that when the number of feedbacks is increased, the pre-processing step of CycSAT faces an exponential increase in complexity and runtime, preventing the correct composition of loop avoidance clauses in a reasonable time before invoking the SAT solver. On the other hand, if the pre-processing is not completed properly, the SAT solver will get stuck or return incorrect key. Hence, when the cyclic obfuscation in accordance to the conditions proposed in this paper is implemented, it would impose an exponential complexity with respect to the number of inserted feedback, even when the CycSAT solution is used.