A game-theoretic analysis of DoS attacks on driverless vehicles

Ryan Shah, Shishir Nagaraja

Research output: Working paper

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Driverless vehicles are expected to form the foundation of future connected transport infrastructure. A key weakness of connected vehicles is their vulnerability to physical-proximity attacks such as sensor saturation attacks. It is natural to study whether such attacks can be used to disrupt swarms of autonomous vehicles used as part of a large fleet providing taxi and courier delivery services. In this paper, we start to examine the strategic options available to attackers and defenders (autonomous-fleet operators) in such conflicts. We find that attackers have the upper hand in most cases and are able to carry out crippling denial-of-service attacks on fleets, by leveraging the inherent deficiencies of road networks identified by techniques from graph analysis. Experimental results on ten cities using real-world courier traces shows that most cities will require upgraded infrastructure to defend driverless vehicles against denial-of-service attacks. We found several hidden costs that impact equipment designers and operators of driverless vehicles - not least, that road-networks need to be redesigned for robustness against attacks thus raising some fundamental questions about the benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationIthica, N.Y.
Number of pages15
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jul 2019


  • cs.GT
  • cs.NI
  • 91A80
  • security economics
  • network security
  • robot control
  • control systems security


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