Platform promises to secure vehicle communications

Platform promises to secure vehicle communications

New Products |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Testing IT systems of a vehicle for existing bugs, backdoors or weak points in the software architecture is becoming more and more complex. The reasons for this are more and more third-party applications, the increasing complexity and ever faster update cycles, which can also be executed remotely. The new Secure Communication Unit (SCU) addresses cyber-security issues in the development process of networked vehicles, regardless of any existing software or third-party systems. SCU is connected to various sub-networks or gateways in the vehicle and acts as a control unit for secure inbound and outbound data traffic. Tight security policies and separation among each other prevent unwanted contact between individual vehicle components and ensure trouble-free data communication within the vehicle network.

The Connected Car: Multiple Threats
endanger its cyber security (Image: Kaspersky)

SCU is a software platform whose components follow the trustworthy-by-design approach. The proprietary microkernel-based operating system KasperskyOS has been developed according to proven, safety-oriented principles and is particularly suitable for use within embedded systems with strict cyber-security requirements. KasperskyOS prevents undocumented functionality from being executed, minimizing the risk of cyber attacks. Even if unauthorized code were to get into the system, it could not be executed because any undocumented functionality is not permitted by default.

Other components such as Kaspersky Security System integrate a security policy engine that defines the specific area of interaction between different components and a trusted channel framework. This is done via crypto algorithms and security services based on hardware capabilities.

The SCU prototype presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show was implemented as an example within the framework of the ARMv7 architecture and requires 128 MB of RAM as well as an I/O Memory Management Unit (IOMMU). If requested by customers, other hardware platforms can also be supported on a case-by-case basis.

The platform is a framework for the development of own applications. Vehicle manufacturers can implement their own SCU for their vehicles, which takes into account the specific hardware and other software components as well as the respective production process. SCU is available to all OEMs, ODMs, system integrators and software developers worldwide.

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