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The Security Aspects of Automotive Over-the-Air Updates

Howden, James; Maglaras, Leandros; Ferrag, Mohamed Amine


James Howden

Mohamed Amine Ferrag


Over-the-air (OTA) update is a method for vehicle manufacturers to remotely distribute maintenance updates, performance, and feature enhancements through the vehicle's lifespan. Recalls of vehicles cost the manufactures a lot of money. OTA solves the recall issue, while allowing consumers to pay for services and features via an update. The OTA ecosystem includes the coders who first developed the firmware, the 1st Tier suppliers, the vehicle manufacturers, and the vehicle itself. Currently, manufacturers designed the networks for speed and responsiveness, and not security. This article examines these elements and drills into the security available for each. The slowest and one of the most vulnerable parts of the system is the communications within the vehicle. The vehicle networks must ensure the integrity and authenticity of messages transmitted to guarantee software programmed onto ECUs are authorized and tamper-free. Specialist hardware within the vehicle makes this possible in an operation environment, such as hardware security modules.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2020-04
Deposit Date Jan 6, 2023
Journal International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism
Print ISSN 1947-3435
Electronic ISSN 1947-3443
Publisher IGI Global
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 64-81
Public URL