skip to main content

Title: Vulnerability of Controller Area Network to Schedule-Based Attacks
The secure functioning of automotive systems is vital to the safety of their passengers and other roadway users. One of the critical functions for safety is the controller area network (CAN), which interconnects the safety-critical electronic control units (ECUs) in the majority of ground vehicles. Unfortunately CAN is known to be vulnerable to several attacks. One such attack is the bus-off attack, which can be used to cause a victim ECU to disconnect itself from the CAN bus and, subsequently, for an attacker to masquerade as that ECU. A limitation of the bus-off attack is that it requires the attacker to achieve tight synchronization between the transmission of the victim and the attacker’s injected message. In this paper, we introduce a schedule-based attack framework for the CAN bus-off attack that uses the real-time schedule of the CAN bus to predict more attack opportunities than previously known. We describe a ranking method for an attacker to select and optimize its attack injections with respect to criteria such as attack success rate, bus perturbation, or attack latency. The results show that vulnerabilities of the CAN bus can be enhanced by schedulebased attacks.
; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2046705 2001789 2011620
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
2021 IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium (RTSS)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Smart grid attacks can be applied on a single component or multiple components. The corresponding defense strategies are totally different. In this paper, we investigate the solutions (e.g., linear programming and reinforcement learning) for one-shot game between the attacker and defender in smart power systems. We designed one-shot game with multi-line- switching attack and solved it using linear programming. We also designed the game with single-line-switching attack and solved it using reinforcement learning. The pay-off and utility/reward of the game is calculated based on the generation loss due to initiated attack by the attacker. Defender's defense action is considered while evaluating the pay-off from attacker's and defender's action. The linear programming based solution gives the probability of choosing best attack actions against different defense actions. The reinforcement learning based solution gives the optimal action to take under selected defense action. The proposed game is demonstrated on 6 bus system and IEEE 30 bus system and optimal solutions are analyzed.
  2. Schedule randomization is one of the recently introduced security defenses against schedule-based attacks, i.e., attacks whose success depends on a particular ordering between the execution window of an attacker and a victim task within the system. It falls into the category of information hiding (as opposed to deterministic isolation-based defenses) and is designed to reduce the attacker's ability to infer the future schedule. This paper aims to investigate the limitations and vulnerabilities of schedule randomization-based defenses in real-time systems. We first provide definitions, categorization, and examples of schedule-based attacks, and then discuss the challenges of employing schedule randomization in real-time systems. Further, we provide a preliminary security test to determine whether a certain timing relation between the attacker and victim tasks will never happen in systems scheduled by a fixed-priority scheduling algorithm. Finally, we compare fixed-priority scheduling against schedule-randomization techniques in terms of the success rate of various schedule-based attacks for both synthetic and real-world applications. Our results show that, in many cases, schedule randomization either has no security benefits or can even increase the success rate of the attacker depending on the priority relation between the attacker and victim tasks.
  3. Controller Area Network (CAN) is the de-facto standard in-vehicle network system. Despite its wide adoption by automobile manufacturers, the lack of security design makes it vulnerable to attacks. For instance, broadcasting packets without authentication allows the impersonation of electronic control units (ECUs). Prior mitigations, such as message authentication or intrusion detection systems, fail to address the compatibility requirement with legacy ECUs, stealthy and sporadic malicious messaging, or guaranteed attack detection. We propose a novel authentication system called ShadowAuth that overcomes the aforementioned challenges by offering backward-compatible packet authentication to ECUs without requiring ECU firmware source code. Specifically, our authentication scheme provides transparent CAN packet authentication without modifying existing CAN packet definitions (e.g., J1939) via automatic ECU firmware instrumentation technique to locate CAN packet transmission code, and instrument authentication code based on the CAN packet behavioral transmission patterns. ShadowAuth enables vehicles to detect state-of-the-art CAN attacks, such as bus-off and packet injection, responsively within 60ms without false positives. ShadowAuth provides a sound and deployable solution for real-world ECUs.
  4. Abstract—Recent work has demonstrated the security risk associated with micro-architecture side-channels. The cache timing side-channel is a particularly popular target due to its availability and high leakage bandwidth. Existing proposals for defending cache side-channel attacks either degrade cache performance and/or limit cache sharing, hence, should only be invoked when the system is under attack. A lightweight monitoring mechanism that detects malicious micro-architecture manipulation in realistic environments is essential for the judicious deployment of these defense mechanisms. In this paper, we propose PREDATOR, a cache side-channel attack detector that identifies cache events caused by an attacker. To detect side-channel attacks in noisy environments, we take advantage of the observation that, unlike non-specific noises, an active attacker alters victim’s micro-architectural states on security critical accesses and thus causes the victim extra cache events on those accesses. PREDATOR uses precise performance counters to collect detailed victim’s access information and analyzes location-based deviations. PREDATOR is capable of detecting five different attacks with high accuracy and limited performance overhead in complex noisy execution environments. PREDATOR remains effective even when the attacker slows the attack rate by 256 times. Furthermore, PREDATOR is able to accurately report details about the attack such as the instruction that accessesmore »the attacked data. In the case of GnuPG RSA [20], PREDATOR can pinpoint the square/multiply operations in the Modulo-Reduce algorithm; and in the case of OpenSSL AES [45], it can identify the accesses to the Te-Table.« less
  5. The Controller Area Network (CAN) is a ubiquitous bus protocol present in the Electrical/Electronic (E/E) systems of almost all vehicles. It is vulnerable to a range of attacks once the attacker gains access to the bus through the vehicle’s attack surface. We address the problem of Intrusion Detection on the CAN bus and present a series of methods based on two classifiers trained with Auxiliary Classifier Generative Adversarial Network (ACGAN) to detect and assign fine-grained labels to Known Attacks and also detect the Unknown Attack class in a dataset containing a mixture of (Normal + Known Attacks + Unknown Attack) messages. The most effective method is a cascaded two-stage classification architecture, with the multi-class Auxiliary Classifier in the first stage for classification of Normal and Known Attacks, passing Out-of-Distribution (OOD) samples to the binary Real-Fake Classifier in the second stage for detection of the Unknown Attack class. Performance evaluation demonstrates that our method achieves both high classification accuracy and low runtime overhead, making it suitable for deployment in the resource-constrained in-vehicle environment.