In this paper we discuss hardware attacks, like fault injection, which can be used to efficiently extract automotive firmware from secured ECUs. These attacks do not rely on an exploitable software vulnerability. Access to the plain-text firmware allows an attacker to understand the ECU’s functionality, extract the ECU’s secrets and identify exploitable software vulnerabilities. We describe multiple techniques in order to analyze binary firmware efficiently. We use an instrument cluster from a modern car to demonstrate the practicality of the described techniques on a real ECU.
We curated a list of the most essential security considerations that we recommend when beginning to incorporate security into your automotive components.