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Internet of Things and Security in the focus of the SerIoT project

Aug 4, 2021

The Internet of Things (IoT) will become more and more important in technical applications in the future. In the mobility sector, too, it plays an important role in the communication between vehicles and infrastructure.

As part of the SerIoT project, AustriaTech looked at an aspect of IoT in connection with mobility. A specific scenario was tested in which connected vehicles were protected from an external cyber attack. The networking of vehicles with the infrastructure makes it possible for safety-relevant information to be transmitted promptly and even more precisely to the driver. This helps to better control traffic, avoid accidents and maintain the flow of traffic. When vehicles transmit their position to a so-called road side unit, this information is passed on to the infrastructure operator, who can read from it whether the traffic is moving smoothly or not and can intervene if necessary.
But what happens if an external cyber attack falsifies this exchange of information? In SerIoT, AustriaTech and the TU Berlin looked at the following scenario: A cyber attack caused a vehicle to flood the road side unit with messages, giving the traffic control center the false impression that there was a traffic jam. In the tested SerIot scenario, a so-called "honeypot" was now interposed, which detects the wrong messages and sends a message to the traffic control center. In this way, incorrect information can be quickly identified and responded to.


SerIot UC Case C-ITS Video


“Information that is exchanged between vehicles and infrastructure must be reliable at all times. This is central to networked communication in mobility. It was therefore essential that we placed the safety aspect in the foreground in this project. It became clear that even with a small number of networked vehicles in the overall traffic, the checking of 'safe messages' from the vehicles is important for the infrastructure and appropriate measures can be initiated. In SerIot, this was proven in our C-ITS use case for five vehicles”, explains Alexander Frötscher, Technical Advisor at AustriaTech.

The SerIoT project has been dealing with information security since 2018 in order to create a reliable SerIoT platform that can be used to secure different applications and networks.