Application-level security for ROS-based applications

Publication from Robotics

Bernhard Dieber , Severin Kacianka, Stefan Rass, Peter Schartner

IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), pp. 4477-4482 , 12/2016


While the topic of security in industrial applications has gained some momentum in recent years, there are still severe security vulnerabilities which are actively exploited for attacks. The robot operating System (ROS) is expected to further grow in usage and to be used in many industrial applications. Analysis, however, shows that it lacks several security enhancements in order to make it suitable for industrial use. In its current state, false data and commands can be injected posing a possible safety risk for the resulting product and humans in the production. In addition, data may be eavesdropped and used by outsiders to gain insight into the production process. In this paper we propose a security architecture intended for use on top of ROS on the application level. We use a dedicated authorization server to ensure that only valid nodes are part of the application. Cryptographic methods ensure data confidentiality and integrity. We show in a demonstration with a collaborative robot how our architecture can be used to secure a ROS-based application.


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Keywords: Cryptography, Authentication, Production, Digital signatures, Service robots