Understanding Common Automotive Security Issues and Their Implications

  • Aljoscha LautenbachEmail author
  • Magnus Almgren
  • Tomas Olovsson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11552)


With increased connectivity of safety-critical systems such as vehicles and industrial control systems, the importance of secure software rises in lock-step. Even systems that are traditionally considered to be non safety-critical can become safety-critical if they are willfully manipulated. In this paper, we identify 8 important security issues of automotive software based on a conceptually simple yet interesting example. The issues encompass problems from the design phase, including requirements engineering, to the choice of concrete parameters for an API. We then investigate how these issues are perceived by automotive security experts through a survey.

The survey results indicate that the identified issues are indeed problematic in real industry use-cases. Based on the collected data, we draw conclusions which problems deserve further attention and how the problems can be addressed. In particular, we find that key distribution is a major issue. Finally, many of the identified issues can be addressed by improved documentation and access to security experts.


Automotive application development Automotive security Expert survey 



We would like to thank all survey participants for their valuable time and input. We would also like to thank all anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback. The research leading to these results has been partially supported by VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, through the project “HoliSec” (2015-06894), and by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) through the project “RICS”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden

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