Date of Award

Summer 5-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Estrada, Zachary

Second Advisor

Song, Jianjian

Third Advisor

Stamm, Sid


Over the last twenty-five years, the Controller Area Network, or CAN, has become ubiquitous in the automotive world as a communication network. That ubiquity is attributed to its high immunity to electrical interference and its resilience to data errors. CAN was designed to ensure data integrity during transmission and allow for multiple nodes to transmit information without a central device controlling that transmission. Given the ubiquity of CAN, much research has been performed to detect and protect against external intrusions on the network. In this paper, I present a methodology for the measurement of key CAN timing parameters. With the detection and understanding of these parameters, I demonstrate a proof of concept attack, dubbed the Broadcast Confusion Attack, which allows for the data integrity of the network to be weakened. Evolutions of this attack could be performed without being detected by two of the three categories of CAN intrusion detection systems. In the evolutions of the attack, devices could be completely overwritten by the attacker without any device (even the victim) knowing such an attack has occurred.