The notion of Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) refers to inter-connected pieces of avionics equipment supported by a wired technology, with stringent reliability and safety requirements. If the inter-connecting wires are physically secured so that a malicious user cannot access them directly, then this enforces (at least partially) the security of the network. However, substituting the wired network with a wireless network - which in this context is referred to as an Avionics Wireless Network (AWN) - brings a number of new challenges related to assurance, reliability, and security. The AWN thus has to ensure that it provides at least the required security and safety levels offered by the equivalent wired network. Providing a wired-equivalent security for a communication channel requires the setting up of a strong, secure (encrypted) channel between the entities that are connected to the AWN. In this paper, we propose three approaches to establish such a secure channel based on (i) pre-shared keys, (ii) trusted key distribution, and (iii) key-sharing protocols. For each of these approaches, we present at least two representative protocol variants. These protocols are then implemented as part of a demo AWN and they are then compared based on performance measurements. Most importantly, we have evaluated these protocols based on security and operational requirements that we define in this paper for an AWN.
- Digital Avionics
- Wireless Network
- Secure Channel Protocol
- Avionics Wireless Network
Akram, R., Markantonakis, K., Mayes, K., Bonnefoi, P-F., Sauveron, D., & Chaumette, S. (2016). Security and performance comparison of different secure channel protocols for Avionics Wireless Networks. In 2016 IEEE/AIAA 35th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC) IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/DASC.2016.7777966