ZBCAN: A Zero-Byte CAN Defense System


Khaled Serag, Rohit Bhatia, Akram Faqih, and Muslum Ozgur Ozmen, Purdue University; Vireshwar Kumar, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; Z. Berkay Celik and Dongyan Xu, Purdue University


Controller Area Network (CAN) is a widely used network protocol. In addition to being the main communication medium for vehicles, it is also used in factories, medical equipment, elevators, and avionics. Unfortunately, CAN was designed without any security features. Consequently, it has come under scrutiny by the research community, showing its security weakness. Recent works have shown that a single compromised ECU on a CAN bus can launch a multitude of attacks ranging from message injection, to bus flooding, to attacks exploiting CAN's error-handling mechanism. Although several works have attempted to secure CAN, we argue that none of their approaches could be widely adopted for reasons inherent in their design. In this work, we introduce ZBCAN, a defense system that uses zero bytes of the CAN frame to secure against the most common CAN attacks, including message injection, impersonation, flooding, and error handling, without using encryption or MACs, while taking into consideration performance metrics such as delay, busload, and data-rate.

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@inproceedings {287308,
author = {Khaled Serag and Rohit Bhatia and Akram Faqih and Muslum Ozgur Ozmen and Vireshwar Kumar and Z. Berkay Celik and Dongyan Xu},
title = {{ZBCAN}: A {Zero-Byte} {CAN} Defense System},
booktitle = {32nd USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-37-3},
address = {Anaheim, CA},
pages = {6893--6910},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity23/presentation/serag},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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