Date of Award

August 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering (Holcomb Dept. of)

Committee Member

Richard R Brooks

Committee Member

Lu Yu

Committee Member

Richard Groff


Applications using dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) are being developed to prevent automobile accidents. Many DSRC implementations, applications and network stacks are not mature. They have not been adequately tested and verified. This study illustrates security evaluation of a DSRC wireless application in vehicular environments (DSRC/WAVE) protocol implementation. We set up a simulation of a working road safety unit (RSU) on real DSRC devices. Our experiments work on the Cohda testbed with DSRC application wsm-channel. We extended the functionality of wsm-channel, an implementation of WAVE short message protocol (WSMP) for broadcasting GPS data in vehicular communications, to broadcast car information and RSU instructions. Next we performed Denial of Service attacks to determine how few packets need to be dropped to cause automobile crashes. Hidden Markov Models (HMM) are constructed using sniffed side channel information, since operational packets would be encrypted. The inferred HMM tracks the protocol status over time. Simulation experiments test the HMM predictions showing that we were able to drop necessary packets using side channels. The attack simulation following timing side-channel worked best to drop necessary packets with 2.5 % false positive rate (FPR) while the attack following size worked with 9.5% FPR.



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