Infineon leads research project for car IT security

May 27, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Infineon leads research project for car IT security
The more cars depend on the reliable function of electronics, the more important gets the protection against cyber attacks. Therefore, an alliance of OEMs, research institutions and commercial enterprises is going to develop measures to make vehicles cyber-proof.

In a world, where cars are increasingly getting targeted of cyber hackers, IT security experts already say things such as "There are only two types of vehicles: those that have already been hacked and those that are still being hacked", or "Automotive electronics designers should embrace the idea of being hacked". This perceptions frightens OEMs and car owners alike. The idea that a partially or completely autonomous driving car suddenly no longer does what it should and is remotely controlled by an unknown hacker is a nightmare for OEMs, vehicle developers and not least for customers.

This is why protection against cyber attacks is becoming increasingly important. Now 15 partners from industry and science have formed an alliance to develop new approaches to IT security in self-propelled cars. The chip manufacturer Infineon is in charge of the development project "Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs); among others, the vehicle manufacturers Audi and VW, the IT security company Escrypt (incidentally a Bosch subsidiary), its parent company Robert Bosch GmbH and various German universities and Fraunhofer Institutes are involved.

Vehicles already have a wide range of communication interfaces - all potential entry points for hackers. Increasingly automated driving functions, such as distance and lane keeping assistants, are the places where they can start in the worst case. At the same time, the automotive industry is working on fully networked and automated models whose electronic architecture will differ significantly from that of previous vehicles. It has to capture and reliably process much more data in much less time. And it should be able to control all driving functions directly. This also increases the safety requirements.

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