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Every function in automobiles made within the last few years is governed by hundreds of processors, including but not limited to the braking system, the steering wheel and cruise control. Autonomous vehicles are providing demand for custom chips that facilitate obstacle avoidance, vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication and many other driver-assist applications. A popular way of ensuring security in these systems is to implement a Hardware Root of Trust (HRoT).

Use Cases

Secure Over-The-air (OTA) Update

Because automotive vehicles are distributed without wired connection, wireless OTA transmissions are used to update the system with the most recent software. This must be done in a secure manner in order to prevent any malicious third party from updating the vehicle with their own unauthorized configurations. HRoTs are at the heart of this mechanism, using functions that will authenticate the sanctity of updates.

Secure Boot of Electronic Control Units (ECUs)

Electronic control units (ECU) in a modern automobile need to start in a secure state to ensure the system has not been tampered with and is running authenticated code. Booting an ECU insecurely can change the operation of the system and result in vehicle theft or life-threatening consequences. HRoTs ensure ECUs are booted securely so the system cannot be tampered with or left susceptible to safety flaws.

Tortuga Logic provides a complete solution that can verify the design and implementation of a Hardware Root of Trust, both by itself and in the context of the broader automotive electronics system.