M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentGaizman Natalie
SubjectCAN Bus Protocol with an Emphasis on the Security Aspect
Security Aspect
DepartmentDepartment of Electrical and Computers Engineering
Supervisor PROF. Avi Mendelson
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


This thesis provides an encompassing view on the study of the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus in general and on its security related aspects in particularly, with references to theory and recent researches. The CAN is a serial bus communications protocol developed by Bosch in the early 1980s. It defines a standard for efficient and reliable communication between sensor, actuator, controller, and other nodes in real-time applications. CAN is the de facto standard in a large variety of networked embedded control systems. The standard has been developed with the objective of time determinism and support for reliable communication. The bus has been widely studied by academia and industry, and methods and tools have been developed for predicting the time and reliability characteristics of messages.

Cyber-security is a rising issue for automotive electronic systems, and it is critical to system safety and dependability. Current in-vehicles architectures, such as those based on the CAN, do not provide direct support for secure communications. When retrofitting these architectures with security mechanisms, a major challenge is to ensure that system safety will not be hindered, given the limited computation and communication resources. The big interest in securing the CAN is mirrored by the huge amount of publications related to CAN. This thesis addresses the security issues mainly when applying CAN for communication networks. As such, the thesis attempts at covering different aspects regarding the CAN security issue, from discussing the built-in weaknesses of the protocol and potential countermeasures to presenting the recent works on exploiting the CAN.