What the Stack? On Memory Exploitation and Protection in Resource Constrained Automotive Systems
Paper in proceedings, 2017
The increased connectivity of road vehicles poses significant challenges for transportation security, and automotive security has rapidly gained attention in recent years. One of the most dangerous kinds of security relevant software bugs are related to memory corruption, since their successful exploitation would grant the attacker a high degree of influence over the compromised system. Such vulnerabilities and the corresponding mitigation techniques have been widely studied for regular IT systems, but we identified a gap with respect to resource constrained automotive systems. In this paper, we discuss how the hardware architecture of resource constrained automotive systems impacts memory exploitation techniques and their implications for memory protection. Currently deployed systems have little to no protection from memory exploitation. However, based on our analysis we find that the simple and well-known measures like stack canaries, non-executable RAM, and to a limited extent memory layout randomization can also be deployed in this domain to significantly raise the bar for successful exploitation.
Electronic control unit
Embedded system security