Cyber security software to protect CANbus-equipped vetronics from hackers introduced by Mercury

CHELMSFORD, Mass. – Mercury Systems Inc. in Chelmsford, Mass., is introducing the CANGuard cyber security suite to protect CANbus-equipped vehicles from hackers. The CANGuard software solution helps protect automotive vetronics data networks from malicious remote intrusions.

Feb 13th, 2017
By Mil & Aero staff
By Mil & Aero staff

CHELMSFORD, Mass. – Mercury Systems Inc. in Chelmsford, Mass., is introducing the CANGuard cyber security suite to protect CANbus-equipped vehicles from hackers. The CANGuard software solution helps protect automotive vetronics data networks from malicious remote intrusions.

Security breaches of in-vehicle onboard computers and networks are becoming more prevalent. Recent demonstrations range from remotely shutting down an engine to causing vehicle brakes to malfunction.

Such attacks are enabled by the lack of built-in security for the vehicle’s controller area network (CAN) bus -- the technology linking most onboard computers. CAN has been a reliable workhorse for the automotive industry for decades, yet it was developed before the Internet, so its inventors never considered malicious remote actors having access to the bus.

By compromising a network-enabled onboard computer, a sophisticated hacker can gain access to other critical vehicle systems via CAN, leading to the dangerous security breaches reported in the media.

Related: Expert: cyber security in embedded computing relies on systems integrity and rugged packaging

At its core, the CANGuard suite is a security layer installed within an automotive computer (an ‘ECU’) attached to a vehicle’s CAN bus. This security layer defends against nefarious actions by blocking malicious data traffic before it can have an influence on the target vehicle -- and does so in a manner transparent to the ECU control programs.

Unlike alternative solutions, such as bus monitoring or gateway firewalls, CANGuard software requires no architectural changes to the vehicle, nor additional hardware.

The CANGuard solution can be applied on a per-ECU basis, retaining complete interoperability with non-CANGuard-aware ECUs. This enables the software to be retrofitted into various existing vehicles in addition to designs.

For more information contact Mercury Systems online at www.mrcy.com.

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