I am trying to understand the realities and risks of distributing an IP protected using the ncprotect tool.
First let's note:
- ncprotect can encrypt (Verilog) source files using common algorithms such as AES, DES, RSA, RC2, RC4, or RC5.
- It also allows the user to generate non-tool-embedded keys, which are to be distributed with the protected IP.
- Since the algorithms used are public and the user-defined public key(s) are to be distributed with the encrypted IP, what is to stop a particularly savvy user from using the key to decrypt the IP to plaintext?
- Could a savvy hacker extract the embedded CDS_NC keys from Cadence tool binaries?