Hi, I am Sergei Skorobogatov!

I am a research engineer working in the areas of hardware security, attack and defence technologies.

I have background in electronics, chemistry, computer science (Ph.D. in 2005) and physics (M.Sc. in 1997).

My research interests include Hardware Security, Embedded memory security, Smartcards, Semiconductors Failure Analysis methods, Forensic Analysis.

I have a strong track record of establishing new directions in hardware security field and finding 'impossible' solutions to hardware security problems:
2002 - discovered optical fault injection attacks which shaked the industry with many semiconductor manufacturers still struggling with implementation of reliable countermeasures;
2005 - discovered data remanence in EEPROM and Flash memory which required tweaking of hardware designs in some Flash and EEPROM chips;
2006 - introduced combined attacks of fault injection with power analysis which opened up a new area for academic research on attacks and countermeasures;
2010 - introduced bumping attacks on Flash memory that can extract data from devices without readback function which forced many developers to implement robust countermeasures;
2012 - implemented hardware acceleration to power analysis for finding backdoors which forced implementation of more robust countermeasures;
2016 - demonstrated 'impossible' NAND mirroring attack on iPhone 5c which proved possibility of things officially named as impossible;
2017 - proved practicality of direct SEM imaging of EEPROM and Flash memory which paved the way for inexpensive memory extraction at scale;
2018 - demonstrated decapsulation on a battery powered chip which proved that decapsulation with acid is not as dangerous as it was thought to be;
2020 - found backdoor and successfully cloned Infineon Secure Element SLE95250 Optiga Trust B chip.


Some of my special skills and fields of knowledge include:


I work in the Hardware Security field on attack technologies and tamper-resistant processors. My Hardware Security research is aimed at finding vulnerabilities, hidden functions and backdoors in silicon chips. Many new attack methods and techniques were developed by me in the past decade. Some of them were previously thought to be impossible.

I presented my latest research on security of the IronKey and other Secure USB Flash Drives at Hardware Security Conference and Training (Hardwear.IO Netherlands 2021), 28-29 October 2021. The title of my talk on 29th October was: Teardown and feasibility study of IronKey - the most secure USB Flash drive. The full paper is available here.

Here is the list of some of my recent research projects:

Past projects

I am a member of the following communities:


Please do not copy any of my publications onto your own Internet server for public access without explicit permission. If you want to refer to any of my texts, please use a hyperlink to my original and not a copy. I update these texts frequently and I want to prevent the confusion that arises if people read somewhere else obsolete versions that are not under my control.


English texts

Russian texts

Press releases September-October 2016

Press releases September 2012

Press releases May 2012

Press releases May 2002