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Alexander Bolshev

Security Consultant for IOActive

Talk Title

A little review of security challenges in Silicon Photonics integrated circuits.

Talk Abstract

Silicon photonics is the study and application of photonic systems which use silicon as an optical medium. This is kind of new technology, which grows and develops very fast. For example, this year, several vendors started to sell first silicon photonics devices, and silicon photonics computing circuits (e.g. one of them do optical solution of traveling salesman problem, based on neural networks) were presented. So far, the security areas of this technology remains in shadow. But with this talk, let's try to uncover some of them. Brief introduction to the silicon photonics devices will be given, we will discuss reverse engineering approaches to the silicon photonics ICs and talk about possible ways of exploiting optical photonics switch circuits. In the end of the talk, we will discuss how to defend against this attack vector.

Speaker Bio

Alexander is a Security Consultant for IOActive. He holds a Ph.D. in computer security and his research interests lie in distributed systems, mobile, hardware and industrial protocols security. He has presented at conferences including Black Hat USA/EU/UK/Asia,, ZeroNights,, CONFIdence, and S4.