On Securing the Connected Car - Methods and Protocols for Secure Vehicle Diagnostics

University dissertation from Chalmers University of Technology

Abstract: Software has been the enabler for the last decades of innovation in new vehicle functions. It is now an integrated part of today's cars and the maintenance and update of this software have become a costly process for the automotive industry. As wireless communication to vehicles is being introduced, vehicular maintenance can greatly be improved and many other new applications can be brought to the vehicles. However, the vehicle was not designed with security in mind. Since the vehicle is safety-critical, it is vital that such new remote services do not violate the safety and security requirements of the vehicle and that appropriate security mechanisms are implemented in the vehicle to prevent malicious vehicle manipulations. In this thesis, approaches to secure the connected car and in particular mechanisms and protocols to secure administrative services for vehicle diagnostics and software download are presented. First, the landscape of the connected car and its infrastructure is investigated. A survey of current mechanisms to secure the in-vehicle network is made and a description of possible communication methods with vehicles is given together with a taxonomy of current entities involved in such communication. The usefulness of the taxonomy is demonstrated by two examples. Then, security analyses of vehicle maintenance in repair shops are conducted. Generic mechanisms and protocols are proposed to secure vehicle diagnostics, which are independent of the diagnostics protocol being used. The proposed protocol prevents unauthorised access to vehicles and it has been formally verified to ensure its correctness. Finally, security mechanisms for in-vehicle communication is addressed, where analyses are performed to design better in-vehicle network architectures that support both safety and security. To conclude, this thesis contributes with new approaches to perform secure maintenance of future connected cars using wireless communication and to prevent unauthorised manipulations of the vehicle.