Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Computer and Information Science

Committee Chair

Todd, Andel, Ph.D.


Within the ever-advancing field of computing, there is significant research into the many facets of cyber security. However, there is very little research to support the concept of using a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) to increase the security of a system. While its most common use is to provide efficiency and speedup of processes, this research considers the use of an FPGA to mitigate vulnerabilities in both software and hardware. This paper proposes circuit variance within an FPGA as a method of Moving Target Defense (MTD) and investigates its effect on side-channels. We hypothesize that although the functionality of native and variant circuits is the same, their subsequent side-channel characterizations will differ thus creating unique electromagnetic signatures. The investigation and observations of the study include circuit variant construction, side channel attacks and analyses, and subsequent comparisons of electromagnetic signatures. We found that in the analysis of variant DES implementations, there are small but present differences in side channel depictions from native to variant.