Secure integration of extremely resource-constrained nodes on distributed ROS2 applications
Ref: CISTER-TR-230703 Publication Date: 14, Jul, 2023
Secure integration of extremely resource-constrained nodes on distributed ROS2 applicationsRef: CISTER-TR-230703 Publication Date: 14, Jul, 2023
Background: modern robots employ artificial intelligence algorithms in a broad ange of applications. These robots acquire information about their surroundings and use these highly-specialized algorithms to reason about their next actions. Despite their effectiveness, artificial intelligence algorithms are highly susceptible to adversarial attacks. This work focuses on mitigating attacks aimed at tampering with the communication channel between nodes running micro-ROS, which is an adaptation of the Robot Operating System (ROS) for extremely resource-constrained devices (usually assigned to collect information), and more robust nodes running ROS2, typically in charge of executing computationally costly tasks, like processing artificial intelligence algorithms. Methods: we followed the instructions described in the Data Distribution Service for Extremely Resource Constrained Environments (DDS-XRCE) specification on how to secure the communication between micro-ROS and ROS2 nodes and developed a custom communication transport that combines the application programming interface (API) provided by eProsima and the implementation of the Transport Security Layer version 1.3 (TLS 1.3) protocol developed by wolfSSL. Results: first, we present the first open-source transport layer based on TLS 1.3 to secure the communication between micro-ROS and ROS2 nodes, providing initial benchmarks that measure its temporal overhead. Second, we demystify how the DDS-XRCE and DDS Security specifications interact from a cybersecurity point of view. Conclusions: by providing a custom encrypted transport for micro-ROS and ROS2 applications to communicate, extremely resource-constrained devices can now participate in DDS environments without compromising the security, privacy, and authenticity of their message exchanges with ROS2 nodes. Initial benchmarks show that encrypted single-value messages present around 20% time overhead compared to the default non-encrypted micro-ROS transport. Finally, we presented an analysis of how the DDS-XRCE and DDS Security specifications relate to each other, providing insights not present in the literature that are crucial for further investigating the security characteristics of combining these specifications.
Open Research Europe (ORE).