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Developing Glitch Attack Techniques for Enhanced Embedded System Security H/F

Vacancy details

General information


The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation in four main areas :
• defence and security,
• nuclear energy (fission and fusion),
• technological research for industry,
• fundamental research in the physical sciences and life sciences.

Drawing on its widely acknowledged expertise, and thanks to its 16000 technicians, engineers, researchers and staff, the CEA actively participates in collaborative projects with a large number of academic and industrial partners.

The CEA is established in ten centers spread throughout France



Description de l'unité

CESTI Leti is a security evaluation laboratory licensed by the French Certification Scheme and the major worldwide evaluation schemes (EMVCo, VISA, MASTERCARD, NXP-MIFARE). It is able to perform security evaluations targeting an official certification using up-to-date norms and standards (Common Criteria).
Specialized in the evaluation of top-level components (integrated circuits, smartcards, electronic devices, HSM), it masters all the evaluation components (site audits, design analysis, source-code audits, penetration testing), including the management of formal and semi-formal design (up to the Common Criteria EAL7 level).
CESTI Leti also develops new methodologies for specific areas, such as biometrics and automotive, with partners.

Position description


Security against malicious damage



Job title

Developing Glitch Attack Techniques for Enhanced Embedded System Security H/F


Fault-based attacks, including laser-induced, electromagnetic injection, and software-based methods, pose a significant threat to embedded systems. Power supply glitches present a cost-effective yet powerful attack vector for all embedded components. Despite limited research in this area, the optimization potential for improving attack efficiency and discovering new exploitation paths is substantial. Utilizing our glitch testing platform, we aim to develop innovative glitch attack techniques on standard microcontrollers. These techniques include the rapid identification of optimal pulse shapes, the implementation of high-frequency glitches, and the enhancement of exploitability.

Contract duration (months)


Job description

Attacks involving faults (such as laser-induced, electromagnetic injection, or purely software-based) pose a severe threat to all embedded systems. Glitches in the power supply of components constitute a low-cost yet powerful method of attack for all embedded components. Despite some recent articles [1], few people are working on this topic, even though many optimizations can be made to improve the efficiency of attacks and quickly discover new exploitation paths.

Using our glitch testing platform (as shown in the figure above and further explained in reference [2]) on standard microcontrollers, we propose to develop new glitch attack techniques, including the rapid search for the optimal pulse shape, the implementation of high-frequency glitches, and the enhancement of exploitability.


The internship will unfold in several stages:

-       Getting familiar with the setup and attack targets.

-       Implementation of high-frequency glitches.

-       Optimized parameter search.

-       Implementation of a realistic attack scenario for the final demonstration.



[1] Shaping the Glitch: Optimizing Voltage Fault Injection Attacks, 2019.

[2] Fast Calibration of Fault Injection Equipment with Hyperparameter Optimization Techniques, 2021.

Methods / Means


Applicant Profile

M2 in cybersecurity, electronics and/or embedded systems.

Position location



Job location

France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Isère (38)



Candidate criteria

Prepared diploma

Bac+5 - Diplôme École d'ingénieurs

PhD opportunity



Position start date