Secure onboard communication

Security solutions for onboard communication need to be safe and compliant with hard, real-time constraints and legacy bus standards, with minimum data overhead and costs.

Onboard secure communication systems address two threats. One is hardware manipulation for tuning purposes or in other kinds of fraud where a harmful hardware component can potentially become part of the communication network. The other threat is terrorism or cyber warwhere the attacker has successfully conquered an Electric Control Unit (ECU), allowing him or her to send or manipulate messages on the bus.

Infineon’s AURIX™ microcontrollers for state-of-the-art secure onboard communication

Infineon’s AURIX™ devices provide a hardware security module that generates message authentication codes with strong cryptography. Strong cryptography is important for preventing attackers from retrieving the key by simply observing bus traffic for long enough. Infineon proposes a Common Protection Code (CPC) for end-to-end protection that addresses safety, security, and hard, real-time requirements at the lowest cost.

The CPC approach combines the message overhead for integrity, authenticity, and freshness into one code so it stays within the limits for all parts of the communication path. Freshness is guaranteed by taking time to generate a cryptographic authentication code, which prevents replay and delay attacks. This authentication code is linked to the payload by the combination of a Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) and a very lightweight cryptographic algorithm that maintains the safety-relevant integrity protection property of the CRC. This approach can be introduced stepwise without fundamental changes to the system design, reducing both risks and costs.

Secure onboard communication systems prevent message manipulations for tuning and other kinds of fraud as well as cyber war and terrorist attacks. Infineon’s on-chip cryptography hardware and common protection code for safety and security provide a low cost, legacy bus- and hardware-compliant solution.

Car Security Glossary

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