Visible to the public Secure firmware update in embedded systems

TitleSecure firmware update in embedded systems
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsKeleman, Levon, Matić, Danijel, Popović, Miroslav, Kaštelan, Ivan
Conference Name2019 IEEE 9th International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE-Berlin)
KeywordsAsymmetric Encryption, asymmetric encryption algorithms, authenticity, composability, confidentiality, cryptography, embedded devices, embedded system, Embedded systems, firmware, great numbers, Hash functions, intellectual property, man-in-the-middle, man-in-the-middle attacks, Metrics, potential attackers, pubcrawl, Resiliency, safety critical operations, secure firmware update, secure update process, security, specific encryption algorithms, symmetric encryption, symmetric encryption algorithms, target hardware, telecommunication security, update, update package encryption process, weak point
AbstractGreat numbers of embedded devices are performing safety critical operations, which means it is very important to keep them operating without interference. Update is the weak point that could be exploited by potential attackers to gain access to the system, sabotage it or to simply steal someone else's intellectual property. This paper presents an implementation of secure update process for embedded systems which prevents man-in-the-middle attacks. By using a combination of hash functions, symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms it demonstrates how to achieve integrity, authenticity and confidentiality of the update package that is sent to the target hardware. It covers implementation starting from key exchange, next explaining update package encryption process and then decryption on the target hardware. It does not go into a detail about specific encryption algorithms that could be used. It presents a generalized model for secure update that could be adjusted to specific needs.
Citation Keykeleman_secure_2019