What the Stack? On Memory Exploitation and Protection in Resource Constrained Automotive Systems
Paper i proceeding, 2018

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

Resource constraints

Memory protection

Memory exploitation

Embedded system security


Aljoscha Lautenbach

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Nätverk och system

Magnus Almgren

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Nätverk och system

Tomas Olovsson

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Nätverk och system

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

03029743 (ISSN) 16113349 (eISSN)

Vol. 10707 LNCS 185-193
978-331999842-8 (ISBN)

12th International Conference on Critical Information Infrastructures Security, CRITIS 2017
Lucca, Italy,

Säkra IT-system för drift och övervakning av samhällskritisk infrastruktur

Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap (2015-828), 2015-09-01 -- 2020-08-31.

Holistiskt angreppssätt att förbättra datasäkerhet (HoliSec)

VINNOVA (2015-06894), 2016-04-01 -- 2019-03-31.


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