An Empirical Study of CAN Bus Cyber-Security in Automotive Systems

  • Mohammad Al Hashmi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Advancement in automobiles is happening everyday in both mechanical and electronic aspects. The number of software programs developed for vehicles is rapidly increasing. It is expected that in the near future automobile software will have a major and rapid advancement similar to what has happened to mobile software. However, the underlying CAN (Controller Area Network) Bus that controls the communication between electronic components in vehicles does not have enough security measures to cope with this advancement. New hardware and software tools are being introduced to the market and made available to the public, which makes connecting to the internal networks of automobiles much easier. This research aims to examin some of the security vulnerabilities in the CAN Bus. it demonstrates the implementation and results of several attacks performed on the CAN network. It also discusses some implications and suggests solutions to solve the found issues. In addition to that, it shows some applications that have been implemented based on the current CAN Bus. Several CAN tools such as ELM327, STN1110 and Spark-Fun CAN-Bus Shield have been used to perform the experiments in this research. The research outcomes show that the current CAN Bus does not have enough security measures. Attacks on speed and RPM gauges were successful. In addition, Denial of service attack on the CAN-Bus which was also successful and several indicators on the test vehicle stopped functioning properly. Several other attacks were also performed and considerable outcomes were achieved.
Date of AwardDec 2014
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorChi Kin Chau (Supervisor)


  • Automotive Engineering Control; User Interfaces; Human Computer Interaction; Automobiles; Design and construction.

Cite this