University of Michigan May Have Developed First Unhackable Processor

May 8

The University of Michigan claims to have developed a completely unhackable processor, allowing data to be shuffled and encrypted faster than any hacking tools or programs, and much faster than a human could possibly decipher.

Morpheus – RISC-V Encryption Accelerator ‘First Unhackable Processor’

University of Michigan May Have Developed First Unhackable Processor

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The University of Michigan has developed a type of encryption accelerator know as Morpheus. Morpheus is a type of RISC-V processor designed with security as the highest priority.

How Does Morpheus Work?

Morpheus works by detecting code executed by the primary processor, encrypting the code, and then shuffling the code. After encryption, Morpheus shuffles the encrypted code twenty times a second, allowing only fifty milliseconds before the code is reshuffled. This shuffling mechanism eliminates any possibility of a human being to analyze code sent through Morpheus but also eliminates the possibility for the most advanced hacking software to do so.

Rather than tackling each type of hardware or software bug one by one, Morpheus creates the ability to fight many different variants of attacks all at once. Morpheus has taken a dynamic approach to security.

Morpheus is currently in the prototype stage and is funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

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The end goal of Morpheus is to be implemented in all types of systems, ranging from a desktop, server, and mobile CPUs, IoT devices, and military systems.

Todd Austin, a professor at the University of Michigan, says

‘We’ve all seen how damaging an attack can be when it hits a computer that’s sitting on your desk, but attacks on devices in your car, in your smart lock, or even in your body could place users at a greater risk.’

Morpheus does have one drawback, though. For devices to take advantage of Morpheus, they would be required to stall for the 50ms time period Morpheus requires to shuffle the data. This stall period is estimated to drop performance by 1%, therefore performance being virtually unnoticeable for greatly increased security. Morpheus also packs an ‘attack detector’ which monitors for threats and increases the encryption shuffle rate if a threat is found.

When Will Morpheus ‘Unhackable Processor’ Become Available?

Agita Labs, founded by Professor Austin, will lead to commercializing Morpheus. No information is currently available for a potential release date.