Security Architecture for Secure Train Control and Monitoring System

Sensors (Basel). 2023 Jan 25;23(3):1341. doi: 10.3390/s23031341.


A Train Control and Monitoring System (TCMS) is a vital part of monitoring sensors in a train. The data output of sensors is sent wirelessly to the data server for monitoring. However, as the wireless channel used to send the data is a shared public network, the transmitted data are prone to hackers and attacks. This paper proposes the Securebox architecture to manage secure data transfer from the onboard Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) to the data server in TCMS. The architecture is comprised of four main functions: network management, buffer management, data management, and security management. The architecture has been successfully developed in an HSM (Hardware Security Modul) and verified using alpha and beta software testing to form a secure TCMS. From the real-time testing phase in an electric-diesel train, the average performance of the AES-based HSM showed 55% faster time processing with unnoticed 0.1% added memory usage compared to the 3DES. The secure TCMS also withstands MITM attack and provides end-to-end data security compared to the (Mobile Station) MS to Base Station (BS) only in GSM-R.

Keywords: cryptography; monitoring system; railway security; system architecture; train control.