Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cyber Operations


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Scott R. Graham, PhD.


The introduction of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication has the promise of decreasing vehicle collisions, congestion, and emissions. However, this technology places safety and privacy at odds; an increase of safety applications will likely result in the decrease of consumer privacy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed the Security Credential Management System (SCMS) as the back end infrastructure for maintaining, distributing, and revoking vehicle certificates attached to every Basic Safety Message (BSM). This Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) scheme is designed around the philosophy of maintaining user privacy through the separation of functions to prevent any one subcomponent from identifying users. However, because of the high precision of the data elements within each message this design cannot prevent large scale third-party BSM collection and pseudonym linking resulting in privacy loss. In addition, this philosophy creates an extraordinarily complex and heavily distributed system. In response to this difficulty, this thesis proposes a data ambiguity method to bridge privacy and safety within the context of interconnected vehicles. The objective in doing so is to preserve both Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) safety applications and consumer privacy. A Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network (VANET) metric classification is introduced that explores five fundamental pillars of VANETs. These pillars (Safety, Privacy, Cost, Efficiency, Stability) are applied to four different systems: Non-V2V environment, the aforementioned SCMS, the group-pseudonym based Vehicle Based Security System (VBSS), and VBSS with Dithering (VBSS-D) which includes the data ambiguity method of dithering. By using these evaluation criteria, the advantages and disadvantages of bringing each system to fruition is showcased.

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