Trustworthy Systems

Software-enforced isolation – the key to cyber-secure cars


Gernot Heiser

    School of Computer Science and Engineering
    Sydney 2052, Australia


Invited talk at Cyber-Secure Car Japan


Modern cars are operating in a challenging cyber-environment, with multiple forms of network connectivity, an increasing integration of infotainment and core control functionality, and increasing consolidation of functions on single ECUs, and the need for over-the-air software upgrades. Add to this the lack of any security on the CAN bus, and the fact that much of the software on the car is not trustworthy and it is clear that isolation is key: critical functions must be protected from interference by untrusted ones. Firewalls or other approaches from the enterprise IT world are not going to solve the problem, as long as the underlying infrastructure can be attacked to bypass any filtering. Any real solution requires strong, software-enforced isolation between co-located components.

In this talk I will present the seL4 operating system, the only one that provides isolation of the strength of mathematical proof. I will show how seL4's isolation properties can be used to protect critical assets on cars, and thus protect the from attacks.

BibTeX Entry

    author           = {Gernot Heiser},
    howpublished     = {Invited talk at Cyber-Secure Car Japan},
    month            = sep,
    title            = {Software-Enforced Isolation -- The Key to Cyber-Secure Cars},
    year             = {2017}