Nowadays with the help of advanced technology, modern vehicles are not only made up of mechanical devices
but also consist of highly complex electronic devices and connections to the outside world. There are around 70 Electronic
Control Units (ECUs) in modern vehicle which are communicating with each other over the standard communication
protocol known as Controller Area Network (CAN-Bus) that provides the communication rate up to 1Mbps. There are
different types of in-vehicle network protocol and bus system namely Controlled Area Network (CAN), Local
Interconnected Network (LIN), Media Oriented System Transport (MOST), and FlexRay. Even though CAN-Bus is
considered as de-facto standard for in-vehicle network communication, it inherently lacks the fundamental security features
by design like message authentication. This security limitation has paved the way for adversaries to penetrate into the
vehicle network and do malicious activities which can pose a dangerous situation for both driver and passengers. In
particular, nowadays vehicular networks are not only closed systems, but also they are open to different external interfaces
namely Bluetooth, GPS, to the outside world. Therefore, it creates new opportunities for attackers to remotely take full
control of the vehicle. The objective of this research is to survey the current limitations of CAN-Bus protocol in terms of
secure communication and different solutions that researchers in the society of automotive have provided to overcome the
CAN-Bus limitation on different layers.
Published In:IJCSN Journal Volume 6, Issue 6
Date of Publication : December 2017
Pages : 720-727
Tables : 01
Omid Avatefipour : is currently pursuing his
Master’s program in Computer Engineering at
University of Michigan-Dearborn. His research
interests include in-vehicle network
communication protocol security, Embedded
Systems, Data mining, Intelligent Control
systems and Robotics. He has work
experience at Vector CANTech company as
Embedded Software Engineer and at Valeo North Amercia
company as System Software Engineering in Advanced
Engineering Research & Development department. He has also
worked as researcher in Information System, Security, and
Forensics (ISSF) laboratory at Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering (ECE), University of Michigan – Dearborn.
Additionally, he was working as primary researcher in the
laboratory of Control and Robotics at institute of Advanced
Science and Technology, IRAN SSP Research & Development
Hafiz Malik : is Associate Processor in the
Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)
Department at University of Michigan –
Dearborn. His research in
cybersecurity, multimedia forensics,
information security, wireless sensor networks,
recognition, information fusion, and biometric
security is funded by the National Academies,
National Science Foundation and other
agencies. He has published more than 70
papers in leading journals, conferences, and workshops. He is
serving as Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on
Information Forensics and Security since August 2014 and for the
Springer Journal of Signal, Image, and Video Processing (SIVP)
May 2013 – present. He is also on the Review Board Committee
of IEEE Technical Committee on Multimedia Communications
(MMTC). He organized Special Track on Doctoral Dissertation in
Multimedia, in the 6th IEEE International Symposium on
Multimedia (ISM) 2006. He is also organizing a special session on
“Data Mining in Industrial Applications” within the IEEE
Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (IEEE SSCI)
2013. He is serving as vice chair of IEEE SEM, Chapter 16 since
2011. He is also serving on several technical program committees,
including the IEEE AVSS, ICME ICIP, MINES, ISPA, CCNC,
ICASSP, and ICC. He is a senior IEEE member.
In this study, in-vehicle network communication protocol
CAN-Bus and its corresponding vulnerabilities are
introduced. Several researchers have performed to show its
corresponding weaknesses in terms of penetrations to the
network. Although some researchers proposed security
solutions for the current protocol, most of the work in this
area are carried out to introduce the current problems and
their solutions are not comprehensive. Developing security
solution in physical layer security would have more merits
compared to transfer layer because one of the challenges
for developing security mechanism in the transfer layer
(applying message authentication code) is the limitation of
computational power and memory of the microcontrollers
which could be insufficient to develop a cryptographic
algorithm for CAN-Bus in real-time environment. Vehicles
are being revolutionized by integrating modern computing
and communication technologies in order to improve both
user experience and driving safety. As a result, vehicular
systems that used to be closed systems are opening up
various interfaces, such as Bluetooth, 3G/4G, GPS, etc., to
the outside world.
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