Blockchain for Embedded Systems: combining microcontrollers and blockchain paradigms for increased security.

February 25, 2019 XAIN

On the way to autonomous driving, increasing digitalization is forcing OEM’s to deal with new challenges regarding safety, security and the protection of consumer privacy. Nevertheless, this also opens up possibilities for new business models to arise around access to machine data and resources.

Berlin-based deep tech company, XAIN AG (the eXpandable Artificial Intelligence Network) specializes in AI, Cybersecurity and Distributed Ledger Technology and has partnered with Infineon Technologies to explore the use of blockchain technology in automobiles. Cybersecurity is a central pillar for data-driven mobility in the future, and blockchain technology offers great potential to increase security for hardware installed in consumer vehicles. To this end, XAIN has developed FROST, a Domain Specific Language, and XAIN Embedded, a Software Development Kit purpose-built for the creation of machine sharing ecosystems, with access control enforcement capabilities on hardware level.

By combining XAIN Embedded and Infineon’s AURIX™ microcontroller, it is possible to produce reliable technology that will enable consumers to control and delegate access to embedded systems via a distributed network.

“Implementing XAIN Embedded with FROST into the Aurix Infineon micro-controller has been a great step forward for enabling secured access control on the hardware level, for the sharing economy in the mobility sector,” says Minh Cao, Director of Integration, XAIN.

At Embedded World, a conference focusing on IoT security, Industry 4.0 and embedded systems, XAIN and Infineon will present a joint demo to show how access rights to vehicle functions can be remotely delegated via a blockchain network using a smartphone app. Potential applications could include platformless car sharing or remote fleet management, where vehicles themselves become fully-fledged participants in a distributed network, which dynamically verifies and enforces access control policies. This approach could in-turn provide vehicle owners with incentives to provide enterprises with on-demand access to useful machine data and enable them to delegate access to their resources in a granular and in a more secure manner.

“Cybersecurity is crucial for the data-driven mobility of the future”, says Peter Schiefer, President of Infineon’s Automotive Division. “Blockchain technology has enormous potential in this regard, but its use requires a high degree of coordination between the selected blockchain methodology and the security hardware installed in the car itself. We will be working together with XAIN to achieve this level of configuration.”

Visit us from Tuesday, 26 February to Thursday, 28 February, at the Rutronik booth in Hall 3, Booth 159, to meet experts from the XAIN team who will be on hand to present the demo, answer questions and discuss current challenges.

About XAIN

XAIN AG was founded in 2017, as the result of a research project at the University of Oxford with the vision of developing distributed, energy-efficient, privacy-minded intelligent systems for human and machine access control and resource sharing. Through partnerships with OEMs and other global players, the automated granting of access rights in vehicles and production machines or the automation of internal processes were developed and evaluated. XAIN provides a software development kit (SDK) that can be used to embed sharing and access-control functionality into hardware of vehicles and moving machines such as robots. This makes use of XAIN’s open-source programming language, FROST, in which “smart policies” can express sharing and access rights. Such policies then compile into attribute-based Boolean circuits that are executable directly on the instruction sets of hardware such as theAURIXTM microcontrollers.

About Infineon AURIX™

Infineon offers a powerful microcontroller family, with crypto accelerators, multi-core architecture and excellent data and program storage capabilities.

Infineon AURIX™ automotive MCUs are ideal for specific vehicle applications such as tuning protection, immobilizer, secure on-board communications, and more

All AURIXTM microcontrollers of the latest generation from Infineon already support primitives needed for blockchain functions in automobiles. The basis is the integrated HSM with the highest level of the EVITA security standard. An HSM comprises special computing and storage units within the microcontroller that are reserved for cryptographic functions and secured by their own firewall. The microcontrollers thus offer a secure memory for the digital key for identification in the blockchain. They can also perform blockchain operations, such as hashing or digital signing, quickly and highly securely.

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