07 Aug 2018

Protect in-vehicle networks from hackers

Microchip Technology announces the new CryptoAutomotive In-Vehicle Network (IVN) TrustAnchor/Border Security Device (TA/BSD) development kit. This tool enables OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to introduce security to networked vehicle systems, starting in areas of priority, with the highest level of protection and without disruption elsewhere.

The only security-specific automotive tool in the industry, the CryptoAutomotive TA/BSD development kit emulates a secure node in an automotive network and provides system designers with an intuitive starting point for implementing security. Designed to be flexible, the tool accommodates each OEM’s implementation by allowing manufacturers to configure the node to conform to various specifications and industry standards. The tool demonstrates secure key storage, Electronic Control Unit (ECU) authentication, hardware-based crypto accelerators and other cryptographic elements. When used with a host microcontroller, it enables designers to implement functions such as secure boot and Controller Area Network (CAN) message authentication, including conversion of CAN 2.0 messages to CAN Flexible Data rate (CAN-FD) with appended Message Authentication Codes (MAC) when appropriate.

Microchip provides a comprehensive approach to automotive security. With the companion approach, the TA/BSD emulation kit enables OEMs to continue using their existing microcontrollers (MCUs) and, more importantly, existing MCU firmware certified to required safety standards by later adding the companion chip the kit emulates. These companion chips will come to the customer preprogrammed and include built-in security measures to provide true hardware-based key protection. This add-on approach can deliver significant cost and time-to-market advantages, compared to the alternative of redesigning the system with a high-end secure MCU. This can entail significant re-architecture of the MCU firmware to implement secure zones with hardware and software domains.

The tool can be used with any ECU, architecture, configuration or bus, providing the flexibility to implement security in existing systems without large-scale redesigns. The companion chip solution requires minimal MCU code updates, resulting in minimal to no impact to existing host MCU functional safety ratings. This approach also removes the requirement for in-house security expertise. The tool provides an online Graphical User Interface (GUI) program with pre-configured options to simplify and facilitate implementation.

With great advances in AI, rapidly increasing levels of automation and autonomous vehicles on the horizon, securing automotive networks is a clear and urgent necessity the industry is now widely acknowledging. With its flexible add-on approach, Microchip’s automotive development kit gives OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers the tools needed to start implementing security measures into existing vehicle networks immediately.

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