Whitepaper #9 - CANsec - Security for the third Generation of the CAN Bus
The vehicle‘s electrical/electronic architecture (E/E architecture) is currently undergoing a change from a domain-based to a zonal architecture, breaking through the clear separation into functional domains, such as infotainment, chassis control or powertrain. In the zonal approach, end devices are not distributed and networked according to their function but by their optimal location within the vehicle, which should significantly reduce the length and weight of the wiring harness.
This change leads to significantly greater flexibility because previous concepts required a separate electronic control unit (ECU) for each vehicle function. Functions can now be combined in fewer ECUs, which will also increase the interoperability and performance of the individual devices in the car. The use of middleware, which serves as a software-based overlay across ECUs, is expected to facilitate cross-functional communication, a concept also known as the software-defined vehicle. Domain-specific data paths are replaced by an infrastructure in which data packets can be forwarded to any other point in the network. The architecture offers many advantages in terms of cost and weight savings, but also holds potential for new security vulnerabilities, such as in well-established signal-based communication protocols like the CAN bus.
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