First automotive processor available with Hardware Security Module

October 16, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With the increasing automation of driving functions and the automatic transmission of data between vehicle and backend, the security of transmission paths becomes a prerequisite for the safety. STMicroelectronics has now introduced a family of processors for use in networked vehicles equipped with a dedicated hardware security module.

Industry analysts predict that the number of connected cars will rise to more than 250 million by 2020. Networked services supported by telematics units, Wi-Fi hotspots and Bluetooth functions and – to a minor extend - retrofit features such as OBD dongles improved connectivity, entertainment and the ability to update vehicle software over the air. This connectivity however creates an attack surface for potential hackers.

Automotive industry associations are focusing their attention on security measures to accelerate growth in key markets for networked services. The spectrum ranges from content streaming, location-based assistance and intelligent emergency support to wireless remote software updates for electronic control units (ECUs) in the vehicle. At the same time, hackers are to be prevented from abusing these connections for their own purposes. Vehicle manufacturers have a range of techniques at their disposal to do this, such as setting up trust in the networked devices and securing all connections to create multiple layers of defense in the vehicle's electronic circuits and software.

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