Cyber-Security for the Controller Area Network (CAN) Communication Protocol

Chung-Wei Lin, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli


We propose a security mechanism to help preventcyber-attacks (masquerade and replay) in vehicleswith architecture based on Controller Area Network(CAN). We focus on CAN as it will likely continuebeing used in upcoming in-vehicle architectures. TheCAN protocol contains no direct support for securecommunications. Retrofitting the protocol with securitymechanisms poses several challenges given thevery limited data rates available ( e.g., 500kbps) sincebus utilization may significantly increase. In this paper,we focus on a security mechanism which keepsthe bus utilization as low as possible. Through ourexperimental results, we show that our security mechanismcan achieve high security levels while keepingcommunication overheads ( e.g., bus load and messagelatency) at reasonable levels.

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