Introduction to Automotive Cybersecurity and Vehicle Networks

This 3 month course on Automotive Cybersecurity introduces the students to current automotive cybersecurity practices and how to implement them. Access to 12 weeks of content will be provided upon enrollment along with weekly challenges and projects. Enroll in the course now to become an automotive cybersecurity engineer/architect/developer

  • Domain : CSE
  • Pre-requisites : Mechanical
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A Quick Overview

With each passing year, automobiles introduce more and more new technologies, transforming them into the lumbering iron carriages of the past into self-driving, highly connected mediums of transportation. Rapid increases in vehicle autonomy and connectivity have made automobiles vulnerable to attack by cyber criminals hoping to exploit insecurities in their programming to cause damage to life and property. This course hopes to introduce the student to the world of automotive cybersecurity and teach them the fundamentals of one of the most important automotive technologies today - the CAN bus. Through completion of this course, students will be armed with the knowledge to both attack and analyze the security case of a vehicle's in-vehicle network systems.


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COURSE SYLLABUS

1Introduction to Automotive Cybersecurity, History of Automotive Cybersecurity, Case Studies of Prominent Automotive Cybersecurity Incidents

Introduce students to automotive cybersecurity as a concept and teach them about it’s rise to prominence in the automotive industry.

A technical review of relevant case studies will give students an idea of what the process of hacking a car is like.

2Intro to Different In-Vehicle Network Technologies, OBDII and EOBD

This lecture will cover the technical features of CAN, LIN, FlexRay, K-Line, Automotive Ethernet, and CAN FD.

Students will learn about different IVN types and where each is used, with emphasis on what applications each is suited for based on price, bandwidth, and other factors.

Students will also learn about the different ports mandated to be on vehicles which grant access to some of these networks.

3Advanced CAN Bus Concepts, Physical Attributes of CAN Bus

Since the CAN bus will be the main area of focus for the hands-on portions of this course, a deeper look will be taken at the CAN protocol.

Students will learn about the different parts of a CAN frame, how they are relevant from a security perspective, and more. They will learn about CAN arbitration and about error states in CAN.

Physical attributes of CAN buses such as wiring patterns, termination, and what they will look like on wiring diagrams/technical documents will also be covered.

4Building Your Digital Workstation

This week’s content will assist the student in setting up their virtualization environment for the remainder of the course’s hands-on work.

We will walk the students through setting up a Linux Virtual Machine, installing the necessary programs for the CAN bus content later on, and an introduction to some of the software that will be used from here on out.

5Building Your Virtual CAN Bus

This course will take students through the process of setting up their own virtual CAN bus using the open source tools they set up in the previous week.

Students will learn how to use the tools at their disposal to read data from a CAN bus, set up a CAN controller, troubleshoot CAN bus hardware, and more.

Parts of this week’s content will feature hardware that the students may not have access to, but it should still serve as useful knowledge.

6Advanced applications for open source CAN tools

This week, students will learn some about some of the more advanced applications of CAN bus. This includes filtering data from a network, logging data, replaying data, and writing basic programs to achieve certain functionality with their devices.

7Setting up Virtual Infotainment System Simulation

This week, the students will be walked through the setting up of the Infotainment Cluster Simulator and shown some of its features. Students will be taught the importance of being able to reverse-engineer CAN bus messages in the absence of a DBC file. The format of a DBC file will be explored as well, showing students how CAN buses are structured in the industry. This will lay the foundation for CAN bus message reverse-engineering.

8CAN Bus Hardware, CAN Bus Software

This course will introduce students to some of the CAN bus products available on the market. We will look at some of the most used hardware tools for interfacing with a CAN bus, and some of the most common software tools that go with them.

Expensive, industry-grade hardware and software will be reviewed but cheaper hardware and open-source software will also be included. Differing strengths and weaknesses of each product will be discussed, and some live demonstrations will be made for some of the programs.

9Cyber Attacks on a CAN Bus, Security Measures for CAN Bus

This week, some possible attacks against a vehicle’s CAN network will be explored. We will go over the details of the attacks, what makes them effective, and discuss possible countermeasures for them.

In tandem with this topic, we will discuss some possible security measures that can be applied to CAN bus including encryption, Authentication, and transport-layer protocols.

10Vehicle Networking Architecture, Where to Find in-Vehicle Networks

This lecture will contextualize how different subsystems can be connected to one another throughout a vehicle. Students will learn how modern vehicle networks are organized, connected to one another, and how information is shared.

Part of this lecture will also discuss how to find different vehicle networks in vehicles, as not all networks are available from the easily accessed diagnostic ports.

11Planning a Vehicular Penetration Test

This week, students will learn the process of carrying out a vehicle penetration test. This process includes the discussion phase with the customer, identifying targets of engagement, planning an attack on the target, and the technical aspects of a penetration test including scanning, enumeration, exploitation, and post-exploitation.

12International Automotive Cybersecurity Legislation, Advanced Applications for Logged CAN Bus Data

To finish off the course, a look will be taken at some of the international legislation surrounding automotive cybersecurity. Multinational standards such as the UN WP29 will be examined, but also country-specific legislation will be looked at.

The final lesion will show how some more expensive, industry-grade hardware and software can be used to recreate a vehicle’s driving session, allowing for advanced incident reconstruction and digital forensics.


Projects Overview

Project 1

Highlights

Using what you’ve learned in your hands-on labs, write a program that logs CAN data from one or more CAN buses.

  1. CAN messages (from any bus) should be sorted into logs of even ARB ID messages and odd ARB ID messages
  2. Even logs should be stored in a Linux Directory called “Even Logs” and odd logs should be stored in a Linux Directory called “Odd Logs”
  3. Individual log files should only store up to 1000 messages
  4. The program should run indefinitely until manually stopped

Project 2

Highlights

Write a program that performs a binary search for any given signal (The instrument cluster can be used as a source for CAN traffic)

  1. It should record a log, assisted by user prompt, and replay all other subsequent logs according to a prompt that the user checks (Did the signal occur again? Y/N.
  2. After every iteration, the number of messages remaining in the kept log should be displayed.
    • The desired outcome is not one particular signal, rather an interactive program that the user can use to automate the binary search process
    • This project will demand extensive use of Bash to manage files in the working directory, split files in half, use the CAN tools, etc.

Project 3

Highlights

In this project, the task is to program an attack terminal

  • The user should be able to select from the following CAN based attacks
  1. Full Bus DoS
    • The program should allow the user to set a duration for the attack
  2. Partial DoS
    • The program should ask the user “what priority should I DoS at?”
    • The program should allow the user to set a duration for the attack
  3. Message Replay
    • The program should allow the user to set the size of buffer to capture before replaying the data
    • The program should allow the user to set a “fuse” (time to wait) after capturing the buffer and before the playback begins
  • The program should create a Linux Directory that includes a descriptive name for the attack and the date/time the attack was run (i.e Full Bus DoS attack - 10/11/2021 at 9:00:00 AM JST)
  • The program should allow the user to set a “fuse” of time to pass before executing the attack
    • A fuse of 0S would mean the attack is executed immediately
  • No attack option should last forever
  • A log of the CAN bus should be kept from the start of the program until the program finishes

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR ?


  • This course is geared towards undergraduate and graduate students studying Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or similar fields. Early graduates (first 2 years of experience) working in the automotive industry can also benefit from this course.

SOFTWARE COVERED


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Frequently Asked Questions

1Who can take your course?

This course is geared towards undergraduate and graduate students studying Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or similar fields. Early graduates (first 2 years of experience) working in the automotive industry can also benefit from this course.

Some experience programming in Bash, Python, or C/C++ is assumed.

Some experience using Linux systems will be helpful

2What is included in your course?

This course introduces the student to the new and exciting world of automotive cybersecurity. The student will learn about the automotive cybersecurity industry, it’s history, it’s core concepts, and some hands-on knowledge for hacking cars. The hands-on knowledge is largely focused around the area of In-Vehicle Networks.

 

3What will the student gain from your course?

The student will gain a greater appreciation for the sophistication of technology being included in vehicles today, as well as some important skills for learning how to understand a car’s electronic components. They will get to see the industry they work in from the eyes of a hacker, the one who breaks the rules and sees between the lines.

4What software skills are you teaching and how well are these tools used in the industry?

This course will teach students the basics of the Controller Area Network (CAN) protocol, how to use open-source software to use this protocol to interact with a vehicle’s CAN buses, and how to write their own programs to send CAN data.

5What is the real world application for the tools and techniques will you teach in this course?

These tools are used in CAN bus data loggers, penetration/fuzzing tests of CAN buses and CAN bus Intrusion Detection/Prevention systems, and more. They are general tools that can be used to sniff traffic from a CAN bus anywhere in a vehicle, and the basic concepts are universal across all different tools used for In-Vehicle Network operation, open-source and commercial.

6Which companies use these techniques and for what?

Automotive OEMs and Suppliers make use of these techniques for programming their CAN bus products, troubleshooting bus issues, logging information from their networks for diagnostic/forensic services, and reprogramming of ECUs inside vehicles.

7How is your course going to help me in my path to MS or PhD?

Ideally learning how to view your industry/area of study from a security perspective will teach you to think more divergently, allowing you to see previously unnoticed patterns in systems and find creative solutions to problems. Knowing the basic building blocks of a vehicle network and why it’s important from a security perspective will help you in making your own custom ADAS systems, your own vehicle diagnostic systems, vehicle data monitoring systems, and more.

8How is this course going to help me get a job?

If you make use of what you learn in this course and expand your knowledge by experimenting on your own, you can potentially have wonderful projects to show a potential employer. The great thing about what I’ll be showing you in this course is that it isn’t only helpful in theory, but it can be used to make something that you actually use/need in your life today. Employers value employees that show passion for their work as more than just a means to get a paycheck. If you show them that you cared enough to use your knew knowledge of CAN bus to make something you put in your own car, that passion will most certainly be recognized.


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Certification

  • Top 5% of the class will get a merit certificate
  • Course completion certificates will be provided to all students
  • Build a professional portfolio
  • Automatically link your technical projects
  • E-verified profile that can be shared on LinkedIn

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