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Bosch Secure Diagnostic Access (SDA)

Cyber Security in our Cars

For over five years there is a technology that has been creeping up on us all in the aftermarket diagnostic repair business. That technology is the “Secure Gateway Module” often referred to as the “SGW”. The SGW acts as a firewall between the Multimedia System, the Vehicles Diagnostic Port and the rest of the Vehicle Electronic Systems.

Introduced by Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) back in late 2018 the SGW prevents unauthorized access of the vehicle electronic systems.

Why you ask? We have to go back further, to 2015, when a pair of hackers, proving a point as opposed to stealing CIA secrets, were able to hack into a Jeep Cherokee’s electronic systems and take control of it whilst being completely remote from the vehicle. This was done via the connected vehicles multi-media Wi-Fi Connection.

Fiat Chrysler Automotive introduced the SGW into their range of vehicles from late 2018 onwards which also includes their Jeep and Dodge range of vehicles and recently VW, Audi, Skoda and Renault have also introduced the SGW on new models.

Mercedes Benz also prevents unauthorized access in the form of a security key but have moved to using the SGW on new models. Ford use the SGW for some of their modules to restrict unauthorized access, in particular the ADAS, whilst Hyundai and Kia also use a secure key to restrict unauthorized access.

The current Aftermarket Solution

To protect the vehicle electronic system of recent vehicle models, numerous manufacturers already use individual solutions with different access requirements and concepts. This disorganized situation poses a great technical and administrative challenge for automotive workshops, in particular for independent multi-brand workshops.

Without access to protected diagnostic functions, workshops can often only perform passive diagnostic activities such as reading out error codes. Active diagnostic work such as the calibration of driver assistance systems might not be possible anymore in some circumstances. Even resetting the service intervals might not be possible anymore. In order to perform these tasks, the manufacturers’ individual solutions often require a paid access.

Bosch Solution

Bosch thus developed Secure Diagnostic Access (SDA), a central, integrated and standardized solution allowing straightforward access to protected vehicle data of different vehicle manufacturers. At a first stage, SDA shall provide access to FCA, VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda vehicles. As additional vehicle manufacturers protect their vehicles against unauthorized access, the SDA coverage will be expanded continuously. For this purpose, Bosch is in close contact with the individual vehicle manufacturers in order to include additional manufacturer solutions into SDA in a timely manner thus offering automotive workshops the best possible coverage.

Bosch Secure Diagnostic Access (SDA) Benefits

SDA allows workshops to continue performing comprehensive diagnoses on vehicles with protected diagnostic data easily and without any restrictions. The new function now available and part of Bosch ESItronic 2.0 Online diagnostic software.

Once registered, each workshop employee gets a personal access allowing him or her to access and use diagnostic features with restricted access via SDA and in a straightforward manner.

Using SDA, workshops don’t need to care for billing and costs. Bosch Secure Diagnostic Access offers a flat rate. The costs for using protected diagnostic data are already included within the license fees for control unit diagnoses (SD).

Using SDA, multi-brand workshops stay competitive

Gaining access to diagnostic contents with restricted access of different makes via Bosch Secure Diagnostic Access, workshops save time and money thus increasing the efficiency of diagnoses. Especially multi-brand workshops ensure their competitiveness using SDA as they are thus able to continue performing comprehensive diagnoses on different vehicles in a time-saving and efficient manner.