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Efficient Protocols for Secure Broadcast in Controller Area Networks

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2 Author(s)
Groza, B. ; Fac. of Automatics & Comput., Politeh. Univ. of Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania ; Murvay, S.

Controller Area Network is a bus commonly used by controllers inside vehicles and in various industrial control applications. In the past controllers were assumed to operate in secure perimeters, but today these environments are well connected to the outside world and recent incidents showed them extremely vulnerable to cyber-attacks. To withstand such threats, one can implement security in the application layer of CAN. Here we design, refine and implement a broadcast authentication protocol based on the well known paradigm of using key-chains and time synchronization, a commonly used mechanism in wireless sensor networks, which allows us to take advantage from the use of symmetric primitives without the need of secret shared keys during broadcast. But, as process control is a time critical operation we make several refinements in order to improve on the authentication delay. For this we study several trade-offs to alleviate shortcomings on computational speed, memory and bandwidth up to the point of using reduced versions of hash functions that can assure ad hoc security. To prove the efficiency of the protocol we provide experimental results on two representative microcontrollers from the market: a Freescale S12X and an Infineon TriCore, both devices were specifically chosen as they are located somewhat on the extremes of computational power.

Published in:

Industrial Informatics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 4 )