ARGUS Cyber Security says it is expanding its In-Vehicle Network Protection suite with new ECU (electronic control unit) fingerprinting technology to deter would-be hackers.

The supplier maintains for the first time it is now possible to identify and trace to their source, messages which were maliciously initiated by an unauthorised or wrong ECU.

ECU fingerprinting pinpoints a malicious message and the ECU which triggered it, with Argus noting the information was to date unattainable due to the nature of the communication protocol in the in-vehicle network.

“Combined with our existing solutions, this latest technology will further improve detection accuracy, radically reduce false positive rates, and shorten the time and effort during deployment,” said Argus co-founder and CTO, Yaron Galula.

“Its implementation will substantially increase the difficulty for hackers to wage a successful cyber-attack. All of these benefits make it cost-effective when compared with other tools that protect against messages coming from an unauthorised ECU such as secure on-board communications, which is based on message authentication.”

For his part, Argus CEO and co-founder, Ofer Ben-Noon added: “We are committed to further investing in research to provide the industry with ever increasing levels of security.

“At Argus, we are pushing the boundaries to provide solutions that stay ahead of the dynamic threat landscape. When it comes to something as vital as cyber security, there is no other way.”

Data from just-auto’s QUBE data service indicates anti-theft policy issues, insofar as they exist on a systematic basis, operate largely on a national basis. There is some international co-operation between police forces regarding tracing stolen cars when they are believed to have been transported across borders, but this is far from universal practice.  

The main drivers to increased vehicle security have been consumers and the insurance industry.