Privacy Endangerment from Protocol Data Sets in VANETs and Countermeasures

  • Sebastian Bittl
  • Arturo A. Gonzalez
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 579)


Wireless vehicular networks are about to be deployed within the next years. Important progress towards practical usage of such networks is being made by standardization in Europe and the USA. Thereby, one of the core concerns is privacy of vehicles and their drivers, especially in Europe. Prior work has regarded only a small sub-set of the information exposed by current standards to an attacker for vehicle tracking. Thus, we take a close look on the data contained on different protocol layers of an ETSI ITS system. We find that much data is very distinctive and can be used to identify static vehicle properties such as manufacturer or even model. We call these data sets volatile constant data. Its presence is shown to greatly reduce usability of formerly proposed cooperative pseudonym switching strategies. Thereby, a privacy metric called vehicular uniqueness is introduced. The provided analysis shows that more constraints have to be applied for selecting appropriate cooperation partners for pseudonym switching, which significantly reduces their availability. Therefore, current techniques cannot provide the level of privacy defined in VANET standards. Suggestions for improving the data sets used by security entity and facility layer of ETSI ITS are given to limit the impact of the found issues. Effectiveness of the proposed mechanisms is shown in the provided evaluation.


VANET ETSI ITS Privacy Security 


  1. 1.
    Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); Security; Security Services and Architecture, v1.1.1, September 2010Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Memorandum of Understanding for OEMs within the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium on Deployment Strategy for cooperative ITS in Europe, v 4.0102, June 2011Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    IEEE Standard for Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments - Security Services for Applications and Management Messages, 1609.2-2013, April 2013Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); Facilities layer function; Facility Position and time management, v0.0.2 (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); Security; Security header and certificate formats, v1.1.1, April 2013Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    C2C-CC Basic System Standards Profile, January 2014Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); Users and applications requirements; Part 2: Applications and facilities layer common data dictionary, v1.2.1, September 2014Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); Vehicular Communications; Basic Set of Applications; Part 2: Specification of Cooperative Awareness Basic Service, v1.3.2, November 2014Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); Security; Security header and certificate formats, v1.2.1, June 2015Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ammoun, S., Nashashibi, F.: Real time trajectory prediction for collision risk estimation between vehicles. In: IEEE 5th International Conference on Intelligent Computer Communication and Processing (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bissmeyer, N., Stubing, H., Schoch, E., Gotz, S., Stotz, J.P., Lonc, B.: A generic public key infrastructure for securing car-to-X communication. In: 18th ITS World Congress (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bittl, S., Gonzalez, A.A.: Privacy issues and pitfalls in VANET standards. In: 1st International Conference on Vehicular Intelligent Transport Systems, pp. 144–151, May 2015Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bittl, S., Gonzalez, A.A., Heidrich, W.: Performance comparision of encoding schemes for ETSI ITS C2X communication systems. In: Third International Conference on Advances in Vehicular Systems, Technologies and Applications, pp. 58–63, June 2014Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Burmester, M., Magkos, E., Chrissikopoulos, V.: Strengthening privacy protection in vanets. In: Proceedings of 8th IEEE International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communications, pp. 508–513 (2008)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Buttyan, L., Holczer, T., Weimerskirch, A., Whyte, W.: Slow: a practical pseudonym changing scheme for location privacy in VANETs. In: IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference, pp. 1–8, October 2009Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Eichler, S.: Strategies for pseudonym changes in vehicular Ad hoc networks depending on node mobility. In: IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, June 2007Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gerlach, M., Güttler, F.: Privacy in VANETs using changing pseudonyms - ideal and real. In: 65th IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, pp. 2521–2525, April 2007Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hoh, B., Gruteser, M., Xiong, H., Alrabady, A.: Achieving guaranteed anonymity in gps traces via uncertainty-aware path cloaking. IEEE Trans. Mob. Comput. 9(8), 1089–1107 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Houenou, A., Bonnifait, P., Cherfaoui, V., Yao, W.: Vehicle trajectory prediction based on motion model and maneuver recognition. In: IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 4363–4369, November 2013Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Harding, J., et al.: Vehicle-to-vehicle communications: readiness of V2V technology for application. Technical report DOT HS 812 014, Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, August 2014Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt: Neuzulassungen von Personenkraftwagen im August 2014 nach Marken und Modellreihen (2014).
  22. 22.
    Lefévre, S., Petit, J., Bajcsy, R., Laugier, C., Kargl, F.: Impact of V2X privacy strategies on intersection collision avoidance systems. In: IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference, pp. 71–78, December 2013Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Nowdehi, N., Olovsson, T.: Experiences from implementing the ETSI ITS securedmessage service. In: IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, pp. 1055–1060 (2014)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Petit, J., Schaub, F., Feiri, M., Kargl, F.: Pseudonym schemes in vehicular networks: a survey. IEEE Commun. Surv. Tutorials 17(1), 228–255 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Scheuer, F., Plößl, K., Federrath, H.: Preventing profile generation in vehicular networks. In: IEEE WiMob, pp. 520–525 (2008)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Schütze, T.: Automotive security: cryptography for Car2X communication. In: Embedded World Conference, pp. 1–16, March 2011Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Stübing, H.: Multilayered Security and Privacy Protection in Car-to-X Networks, 1st edn. Springer, Wiesbaden (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Tomandl, A., Scheuer, F., Federrath, H.: Simulation-based evaluation of techniques for privacy protection in VANETs. In: IEEE 8th International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communications, pp. 165–172 (2012)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wiedersheim, B., Ma, Z., Kargl, F., Papadimitratos, P.: Privacy in inter-vehicular networks: why simple pseudonym change is not enough. In: Seventh International Conference on Wireless On-demand Network Systems and Services, pp. 176–183, February 2010Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fraunhofer ESKMunichGermany

Personalised recommendations