Honda to apply cryptographic technologies to cars in 2019

Honda Motor Co Ltd says that it will apply cryptographic technologies to its vehicles to be mass-produced in 2019 and later with the aim of preventing the vehicles from being hacked.

Toyota Motor Corp will also start to apply cryptographic technologies to mass-produced cars in the same year. In view of the spread of “connected cars,” the two companies will develop measures against hacking, involving the entire auto industry in Japan.

Honda will introduce its “Key Management Center,” which safely creates a cryptographic key to be used for communications among components such as a steering, brake, etc and transmits it to the factories of parts manufacturers. Its basic function seems to be the same as the technology to be used by Toyota. Honda started the development of the Key Management Center at the end of 2017 (about a year behind Toyota), aiming to complete it within 2018.

The cryptographic key will be applied to ECUs (electronic control units) that control a steering, brakes, etc. As in the case of Toyota, a message authentication technology that is based on the “AES” block cipher and uses a common key cryptosystem method (CMAC) will be used for exchanging data among ECUs.

The cryptographic key means a common key and can be embedded only in the authorized ECU, enabling to distinguish messages sent by people who do not have the common key. As a result, it becomes difficult for outsiders to send fake massages to the automotive LAN and remotely control the brakes and steering.

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