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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science Events and Talks

TCAN: Authentication Without Cryptography on a CAN Bus Based on Nodes Location on the Bus
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Eli Gavril (M.Sc. Thesis Seminar)
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Monday, 30.01.2023, 14:30
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Zoom Lecture: 8355062003
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Advisor: Prof. Eli Biham and Dr. Sara Bitan
Vehicles possess an extraordinary amount of technological features that are meant to improve the safety and comfort of the driving experience. Those features have become so advanced that many of the driving aspects are now almost completely automated. Most drivers in the world now rely on the computer systems of the vehicle itself in order to perform even the most basic tasks, such as steering and parking. The CAN bus is the main network used for communication between the various systems of the vehicle. As such, it is a major target for attackers who wish to break into the car. Indeed, it has been proven that attacks can be performed on the CAN bus in order to cause physical damage to the vehicle. Specifically, attackers can forge messages and send them on the CAN bus in order to impersonate certain systems of the vehicle. Securing the CAN bus has therefore become a priority in the automobile industry. In this thesis we present TCAN, an authentication mechanism for messages on the CAN bus that does not require cryptography. TCAN ensures that the messages are sent by their alleged senders, and are not modified by other parties connected to the bus. The main idea of TCAN is to uniquely identify nodes on the bus by their physical location. To do this, we install dedicated nodes on the bus that measure reception time differences, which are correlated to the senders' location on the bus (due to the constant speed-of-light propagation on the bus).