Visible to the public Threat Intelligence for Bluetooth-Enabled Systems with Automotive Applications: An Empirical Study

TitleThreat Intelligence for Bluetooth-Enabled Systems with Automotive Applications: An Empirical Study
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCheah, M., Bryans, J., Fowler, D. S., Shaikh, S. A.
Conference Name2017 47th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks Workshops (DSN-W)
Keywordsautomotive, automotive applications, automotive electronics, Bluetooth, Bluetooth connectivity, bluetooth security, Bluetooth-enabled systems, composability, cybersecurity, Human Behavior, human factor, infotainment, Inspection, malicious attacks, on-board communications, Pins, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency, Roads, Safety, security, security risks, telecommunication security, threat intelligence, war-nibbling, wireless interfaces

Modern vehicles are opening up, with wireless interfaces such as Bluetooth integrated in order to enable comfort and safety features. Furthermore a plethora of aftermarket devices introduce additional connectivity which contributes to the driving experience. This connectivity opens the vehicle to potentially malicious attacks, which could have negative consequences with regards to safety. In this paper, we survey vehicles with Bluetooth connectivity from a threat intelligence perspective to gain insight into conditions during real world driving. We do this in two ways: firstly, by examining Bluetooth implementation in vehicles and gathering information from inside the cabin, and secondly, using war-nibbling (general monitoring and scanning for nearby devices). We find that as the vehicle age decreases, the security (relatively speaking) of the Bluetooth implementation increases, but that there is still some technological lag with regards to Bluetooth implementation in vehicles. We also find that a large proportion of vehicles and aftermarket devices still use legacy pairing (and are therefore more insecure), and that these vehicles remain visible for sufficient time to mount an attack (assuming some premeditation and preparation). We demonstrate a real-world threat scenario as an example of the latter. Finally, we provide some recommendations on how the security risks we discover could be mitigated.

Citation Keycheah_threat_2017