An efficient, secure and trusted channel protocol for avionics wireless networks

Raja Akram, Konstantinos Markantonakis, Keith Mayes, Pierre-Francois Bonnefoi, Damien Sauveron, Serge Chaumette

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Avionics networks rely on a set of stringent reliability and safety requirements. In existing deployments, most of these networks are based on a wired technology, which supports these requirements. Furthermore, this technology simplifies the security management of the network since certain assumptions can be safely made, including the inability of an attacker to access the network, and the fact that it is almost impossible for an attacker to introduce a node into the network. The proposal for Avionics Wireless Networks (AWNs, currently under consideration by multiple aerospace working groups, promises a reduction in the complexity of electrical wiring harness design and fabrication, a reduction in the total weight of wires, increased customization possibilities, and the capacity to monitor otherwise inaccessible moving or rotating aircraft parts such as landing gear and some sections of the aircraft engines. While providing these benefits, the AWN must ensure that it provides levels of safety that are at minimum equivalent to those offered by the wired equivalent. In this paper, we propose a secure and trusted channel protocol that satisfies the stated security and operational requirements for an AWN protocol. There are three main objectives for this protocol. First, the protocol has to provide the assurance that all communicating entities can trust each other, and can trust their internal (secure) software and hardware states. Second, the protocol has to establish a fair key exchange between all communicating entities so as to provide a secure channel. Finally, the third objective is to be efficient for both the initial start-up of the network and when resuming a session after a cold and/or warm restart of a node. The proposed protocol is implemented within a demo AWN, and performance measurements are presented based on this implementation. In addition, we formally verify our proposed protocol using CasperFDR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 IEEE/AIAA 35th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC)
EditorsAloke Roy, Wolfgang Schuster
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5090-2523-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-2524-4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Dec 2016


  • Digital Avionics
  • Wireless Network
  • Cryptography
  • Avionics Wireless Network
  • Security Evaluation
  • Secure Channel Protocol
  • Performance analysis

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