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DFG project RESURREC: Warding off hacking attacks on autonomous vehicles systems

DFG project RESURREC: Warding off hacking attacks on autonomous vehicles systems

How should autonomous street and rail vehicles respond when their safety-critical systems are under attack? In the DFG project RESURREC, researchers from the University of Passau are developing solutions in collaboration with Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

If cars or rail vehicles are to operate autonomously in future, they must be safe – also against cyberattacks. During such incidents, safety-critical systems in these vehicles are targeted by multi-stage intrusions. Once a component in the vehicle's IT architecture has been infected, the attack can spread to other components and functions. RESURREC aims to develop highly effective automated responses for such events and thus make autonomous vehicles more resilient. RESURREC is short for “Resilient Safety-Critical Systems through Run-time Risk Assessment, Isolation, and Recovery“.

"How an autonomous vehicle will react to an attack is a decisive point that must be addressed before autonomous driving can be brought to the streets. No one has looked into that before," says Professor Stefan Katzenbeisser, who holds the Chair of Computer Engineering and supervises the project on behalf of the University of Passau. The research team is probing methods that will allow the vehicle to rate the risk of an ongoing attack and then to determine appropriate remedial actions based on its assessment.

In a nutshell, the researchers are attempting to optimise the programmed response of a safety-critical system: To ensure that the vehicle does not need to completely shut down and stop in the case of an attack to protect itself and its passengers and that it maintains its key basic functions, a graduated response is needed. For this purpose, the pathways within the system architecture that can be exploited to propagate the attack from one subsystem to another will be depicted in a single model in order to facilitate risk assessment.

The project is being carried out in collaboration with Professor Christoph Krauß from Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (h_da). It has received a three-year grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the priority programme "Resilience in networked worlds – Managing failures, overload, attacks and the unknown".

Principal Investigator(s) at the University Prof. Dr. Stefan Katzenbeisser (Lehrstuhl für Technische Informatik)
Project period 01.10.2022 - 31.10.2025
Source of funding
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft > DFG - Schwerpunktprogramm
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft > DFG - Schwerpunktprogramm

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