Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security

SEIS – Security in Embedded IP-based Systems

Most of the innovation in the automotive industry today is in the area of electronic systems. Modern vehicles contain up to seventy electronic control units exchanging data with one another. Unfortunately, these embedded systems speak a different language than the rest of the vehicle components, making new developments difficult. Because of this, the automotive industry would like to see future electronic component communication taking place via the Internet Protocol (IP). But what if this communication is disrupted while driving or hackers attempt to manipulate the on-board electronics?

The secure deployment of the Internet Protocol (IP) for in-vehicle communication between these control units is being explored by the "SEIS - Security in Embedded IP-based Systems" research project. SEIS was initiated from within the Automotive Electronics Innovation Alliance (Innovationsallianz Automobileletronik (E|ENOVA)). This project is supported through the frameworks of the High-Tech Strategy of the German federal government and the IKT2020 research program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The majority of current automotive innovations are being developed in the area of embedded systems, the electronic control units. A modern luxury-class automobile has up to seventy of these control units bound together by up to five different network technologies. As these technologies are not directly compatible with one another, the complexity of the entire electronics architecture is raised considerably, necessitating substantial development and testing effort and making innovation difficult.

The SEIS project is concerned with exactly this problem. Project partners are interested in reducing the complexity of the electronics architecture through use of the Internet Protocol as a common networking protocol for motor vehicle controllers. A key focus is to compile an integrated security solution for the communications of these systems. For all areas of vehicular data networking, the results of this project will form an important basis for being able to efficiently master the growing complexity of entire electronic systems, both now and in the future. In so doing, the automobile industry will continue to ensure high standards of innovative functionality, efficiency, security and reliability.

The tasks to be performed by Fraunhofer SIT are, among others, as follows:

  • Identification of safety goals and security standards
  • Design of an integrated security model
  • Development of security solutions to safeguard vehicle reliability
  • Validation of developed solutions and design of security management concepts
  • Implementation of a demonstration model

Further information