To establish an effective mitigation against such attacks, Imec has devised a new security architecture for networked embedded devices, called Sancus. It was carefully laid out to fit the usual automotive electronics environments, and is intended as a general solution to secure not just vehicles, be they smart or autonomous, but also for other critical infrastructures, such as medical equipment, smart buildings or power grids.
CAN: island of smart electronics
Complex industrial equipment is monitored and steered by networks of sensors, actuators and control processors that continuously exchange essential up-to-date messages. In automobiles this real-time interaction usually is organized via the CAN bus (Controller Area Network). The problem here is: CAN was laid out about 30 years ago as a closed network with no consideration of obvious access points for intruders. The CAN bus specs offer a convenient way to integrate the growing number of heterogeneous sensors and control processors, which send and receive reliable and timely messages without any central computer. Most important: CAN connects the rotation sensors in the wheels with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and the drivetrain.