BBI can interfere with, or even break, smart card measurement equipment such as the PowerTracer or the MP300/MP500.


BBI (body bias injection) is a technique where we locally inject a voltage into the ground plane of a device. While this technique has been proven useful in many cases, there are certain scenarios where it can be very harmful to your equipment.

One such scenario is when using BBI on smartcards. BBI is effective because very few targets have any fault detection or protection in the ground plane. However, this also holds for many smart card readers that are not designed for Fault Injection, such as the PowerTracer and the MP300/MP500. Since the ground on the card is directly connected to the ground of the device, it is possible to blow up capacitors or other components in the ground plane of these devices if you 

a) use BBI too close to the GND bonding wire, or

b) use BBI on ANY conductive material directly

Always be aware of the effect of the attack that you are performing. Fault Injection aims to forcefully change behaviour in a target, generally by applying electrical changes outside of the target's specification. A glitch does not know where it is going and it does not distinguish between target or measurement device. Please be careful when performing FI, especially when using equipment not designed for FI attacks.


For this specific scenario, we advise to disconnect the ground plane from the measurement equipment and using an external ground to avoid any faults propagating into the measurement equipment.