App-store curators and ISVs often impose technical restrictions on applications (and other content, such as themes) so that they can only be used by a user who has purchased the application, or on a device for which a license has been purchased. This design is intended to address this topic.

Assumptions

Identification

Store account ID

For the purposes of this design, we assume that the owner(s) of the vehicle has/have access to at least one store account. The platform may support Apertis-based operating systems (OEM variants) without app-store support, but none of the scenarios given here are required to work on those variants, with the possible exception of Unrestricted app-bundle.

We assume that each store account has an unique identifier, which never changes. This unique identifier is treated as opaque here: we do not assume that it corresponds to the credentials used to log in. For example, the user might log in with an email address or username and a user-chosen password, but their unique identifier might be an integer or a UUID, allowing the user to associate a different email address or username with the same store account identifier at a later date.

For example, suppose Adam authenticates to the app-store using his email address adam@example.com and a password. The opaque unique identifier corresponding to adam@example.com might be S123.

We assume that each user account (as used for multi-user support) is associated with up to one store account at any given time. For example, this matches the model of accounts used on the PlayStation 3 and 4, with Sony Entertainment Network accounts corresponding to our store accounts.

For example, suppose Adam controls store account S123, and also store account S456 (perhaps he accidentally created separate store accounts for two different cars). On his Apertis system, suppose his user account is U1000, currently linked to store account S123. We assume that it is possible for Adam to change U1000 so it is linked to S456 instead, but we assume that associating it with both S123 and S456 at the same time is impossible.

Possible future addition: multiple store accounts per user account. As a future addition, it might be possible to associate more than one store account with each user account. For example, this model would allow Adam to link both S123 and S456 to U1000. This matches the model of accounts used by Google Play on Android, with Google accounts corresponding to our store accounts.

We do not assume that the store account ID is kept secret from the user: for example, it is likely to be visible in URLs or cookies while accessing the app-store.

The store account ID is considered to be confidential from the perspective of most app-bundles, to minimize its privacy impact (mitigating tracking/profiling of app users by app authors). If certain app-bundles require access to the store account ID, we could offer a permissions flag analogous to android.permission.GET_ACCOUNTS, which controls the equivalent access in Android. However, the conditional-access mechanism must be able to work with app-bundles that are not allowed to know the store account ID.

Device ID

We assume that each Apertis device has an opaque, unique device ID, analogous to the serial number of a consumer electronics device or the IMEI of a cellular phone, which never changes except in situations that the OEM's business rules treat as “replacing the device” (for example, if the main circuit board of the Apertis device ceases to work and a new main board is placed in the same housing, it might be reasonable to say that this is essentially a new device and should therefore have a new device ID).

We do not assume that the device ID is kept secret from the user: for example, it might be printed on the housing of the Apertis device, and the user might use it to register with the app-store on a laptop/desktop computer if their vehicle does not have direct Internet access.

Like the store account ID, the device ID is considered to be confidential from the perspective of most app-bundles, to minimize its privacy impact (mitigating tracking/profiling of app users by app authors). If certain app-bundles require access to the device ID, we could offer a permissions flag analogous to android.permission.READ_PHONE_STATE, which controls the equivalent access in Android. However, the conditional-access mechanism must be able to work with app-bundles that are not allowed to know the device ID.

If the device has cellular connectivity with an IMEI number, the device ID is assumed to be distinct from the IMEI, and access to it may be controlled by different permissions flags.

Vehicle identification number

We assume that each vehicle with an attached Apertis device has an opaque, unique identifier, the VIN (vehicle identification number, chassis number). This never changes. It is permanently applied to the vehicle (engraved in the chassis), and can also be retrieved by the Apertis device in a way that cannot be faked by an attacker.

We do not assume that the same Apertis device will necessarily remain in a vehicle for the entire lifetime of the vehicle.

For the use-cases where OEM-defined paid services are linked to the VIN, we assume that access to the digital representation of the VIN is trusted, i.e. an attacker (for example the car's owner) cannot cause a faked VIN to be received by the Apertis device.

We assume that it is acceptable to require out-of-band communication with the app store whenever the association between Apertis devices and VINs changes, for example if the user buys a faster/more capable Apertis device for installation in their existing car, or if the Apertis device fails or is damaged and is replaced by a different unit of the same specification.

We assume that the VIN is not kept secret from the user: in particular, it is sometimes visible from outside the vehicle, and frequently appears in vehicle registration paperwork.

Like the store account ID, the VIN is considered to be confidential from the perspective of most app-bundles, to minimize its privacy impact (mitigating tracking/profiling of app users by app authors). If certain app-bundles require access to the VIN we could offer a permissions flag analogous to android.permission.READ_PHONE_STATE, which controls the equivalent access in Android. However, the conditional-access mechanism must be able to work with app-bundles that are not allowed to know the VIN.

App developer account

We assume that each ISV wishing to work on app-bundles must register a developer account with which they will submit the finished app-bundle for approval by the app-store curator. (Larger ISVs might have separate developer accounts for different business units.) Each of their app-bundles is associated with that developer account via its bundle ID, a reversed domain name: the developer should register one or more reversed domain names for their development, and should be given the exclusive ability to create app-bundles “below” those names (for example, Collabora Ltd. might register com.collabora and uk.co.collabora, and would be the only ISV allowed to release com.collabora.ShoppingList). The app-store curator may verify ownership of those reversed domain names, and we recommend that this is done.

We assume that the app store will give the ISV the ability to associate one or more store accounts and one or more Apertis devices with their developer account.

Clocks

We assume that the device has access to a reasonably accurate real-time clock measuring time since an “epoch” (reference point) based on UTC, which continues to run while the device is switched off, and is automatically synchronized to a reasonable approximation of the actual time during operation. This could be done using the Internet (NTP, tlsdate or similar), a cellular network, GPS, digital radio or any other trusted out-of-band mechanism.

We assume that the user is unable to alter the internal clock, and can only change its display/interpretation (i.e. the time zone, and therefore the local time). For example, if the Apertis device knows from time-synchronization that the date and time is 2016-01-15 16:55:42 UTC, the user may configure the device so that clock display, alarms, etc. treat that value as a local time of 2016-01-15 17:55:42 +0100 (the equivalent time in Berlin) or 2016-01-15 11:55:42 -0500 (the equivalent time in New York), but the ability to change the internal clock to (for example) 2016-01-07 or 16:55:07 is not required.

  • This is how timing normally works for unprivileged users on Linux systems, so this only requires that we avoid giving CAP_SYS_TIME capabilities to processes outside the TCB, and avoid providing APIs by which a process not in the TCB can instruct a process in the TCB to change the time.

We assume that the owner of the device is unable to interfere with the real-time clock or its automatic synchronization in order to set the clock to an incorrect time/date.

Access to the filesystem

We assume that the user of the device cannot directly read its filesystem from the underlying storage. This assumption could be satisfied either by physical access being outside the scope of the threat model, or by encrypting the filesystem device using an encryption key stored somewhere that is not feasible to access, such as sealed storage provided by a TPM (Trusted Platform Module). This assumption is necessary if we wish to have anything on the device that cannot be copied by the owner of the device/vehicle.

Internet access

We assume that the user of the Apertis device has Internet access, either through the vehicle or via a desktop/laptop computer that can write to USB mass storage devices such as flash drives.

We do not assume that the Apertis device itself will ever have direct Internet access: in general, these conditional access scenarios should continue to work without it. However, individual scenarios may work poorly or not at all without direct Internet access, where noted in the individual scenarios.

App-bundle integrity

We assume that the unencrypted file encapsulating the app-bundle contains digital signatures that prove that it has been approved by the app-store as of a particular date, and has not been modified since it was approved. In other words, the scope of this design is only to protect the business models of the app-store and ISV from the device owner; protecting the device owner from a maliciously created or modified app-bundle is assumed to have been solved elsewhere (this is in the scope of the Applications concept design).

Similarly, if a trust path from the ISV to the app-bundle is desired (protecting the ISV and device owner from a malicious app-store curator), this is assumed to be outside the scope of this particular design.

Trips

The OEM may define a way to determine whether the vehicle is conceptually in the same trip (journey) as it was at an earlier time. For example, the time from engine start to engine stop might be considered to be a trip, a short time period with the engine stopped might be considered not to interrupt a trip, or the automotive domain might be treated as the “single source of truth”.

If the OEM does not define this, then we will assume that each run of the Apertis device (infotainment domain), from bootup to shutdown, is a trip.

This influences some of the requirements below.

Requirements

Unrestricted app-bundle

(This is a baseline so that the other scenarios can be compared with it; there is no real conditional access here.)

An ISV publishes an application bundle in an app store. This ISV is not interested in limiting access to this particular application bundle in any way: perhaps it was developed as a marketing tool and is published to everyone at no cost, or perhaps the app-store curator or ISV has decided that the customer-service cost of imposing strong conditional access exceeds the value of this particular app-bundle.

(Please note that if an app-bundle is available at no cost, but is conditional on some other factor - for example the OEM, the VIN or the user - then that is not an unrestricted app-bundle, and falls into one of the other scenarios below.)

A user downloads and installs this app-bundle.

  • If the vehicle has an Internet connection, the user can download, install and use this app-bundle.
  • The user can download one or more files that encapsulate this app-bundle via a home PC, copy it to a USB thumb drive or similar removable mass-storage, and install it in the vehicle from there, without the vehicle having Internet access.
  • The app-bundle can continue to be used while no Internet connection is available.
  • This app-bundle never expires, and can continue to be used indefinitely.
  • Non-requirement: If the user downloads the files to USB storage and attempts to install them in multiple vehicles, it is acceptable for this to work in this specific situation, but it is not required. It would also be acceptable for the required files to change for each vehicle or for each store account.

A new version of the same app-bundle becomes available. It is still unrestricted.

  • If the vehicle has a direct Internet connection, the user can upgrade to this new app-bundle “over the air”.
  • The user can download one or more files that encapsulate this app-bundle via a home PC, and upgrade to it using a USB storage device.

App-bundle licensed to a store account

An ISV publishes an application bundle for purchase on an app store. The ISV and/or app store curator has chosen to link this bundle's licensing to a store account, so that any vehicle linked to that store account can have that app-bundle. For example, this matches the model used by services like Google Play (for Android apps, music, videos, etc.) and Steam (for games and other apps).

A user has a store account which they have associated with one or more vehicles in some way, for example by entering the relevant vehicles’ into the store's web interface on a desktop or laptop computer, or by entering their store account username and password into the vehicle's HMI while it has Internet access. The user purchases the app-bundle, which in this scenario gives them permission to use the app-bundle on all of their vehicles.

For this scenario, assume that the app-bundle is a one-time purchase which remains valid forever (see below for details of what would differ for a Subscription-based app-bundle or Time-limited app-bundle).

The availability and purchase price of the app-bundle might vary depending on characteristics of the store account, for example the country and currency with which it is registered.

  • The store curator can choose the business rules for associating vehicles and/or devices with store accounts (for instance limiting the number of vehicles per account, the number of accounts per vehicle and/or the frequency of changes).
  • The purchase and download of the app-bundle can either be done directly on the Apertis device, or via USB storage, as above.
  • The app-bundle can continue to be used while no Internet connection is available.
  • If the vehicle or device is multi-user, the OEM chooses whether the user's store account is associated with a particular user account, or part of system-wide configuration.
    • If the store account is associated with a particular user account, the OEM chooses whether an app-bundle purchased by one user of the device is automatically available to all other user accounts on the same device (similar to games on the PlayStation 3, for example), or whether the app-bundle is only available to the user account matching that store account (similar to Steam).
  • Non-requirement: If the user downloads the files to USB storage and attempts to install them in multiple vehicles that are all linked to their store account, it is acceptable for this to work, but it is not required (it would be acceptable for the required files to change for each vehicle).

The user attempts to give a friend a copy of the app-bundle without the friend paying for it.

  • If the user downloads the files to USB storage and attempts to install them in a vehicle that is not linked to their store account, the app-bundle must not be installed or usable on that vehicle.
  • It must not be feasible to extract the contents of the app-bundle (for example music tracks) by unpacking the downloaded files manually.

Like an Unrestricted app-bundle, upgrades should work similarly to installation.

  • The upgraded version can be downloaded directly onto the device, or copied via USB storage.

App-bundle licensed to a vehicle

An ISV publishes an application bundle for purchase on an app store. The ISV and/or app store curator has chosen to link this bundle's licensing to a specific vehicle, not to the store account or the Apertis device. For example, this would be appropriate if access to the app-bundle is sold as “part of the vehicle” for an extra cost: in the same way that a car buyer can pay extra for a more powerful engine or for metallic paint, they might pay extra for a more advanced navigation app.

A user has a store account which they have associated with one or more (vehicle, device) pairs in some way, as in the App-bundle licensed to a store account scenario. The user purchases the app-bundle for use on a specific device.

For this scenario, assume that the app-bundle is a one-time purchase which remains valid forever (see below for details of what would differ for a Subscription-based app-bundle or Time-limited app-bundle).

The availability and purchase price of the app-bundle might vary depending on characteristics of the vehicle. In particular, the cost might be zero for certain vehicles, for example if a car manufacturer makes a particular piece of navigation software available at no extra cost for cars in their premium range, or for their entire range. Conversely, the app-bundle might not be offered at all for certain vehicles: for example, it might be exclusively available on premium cars from a certain manufacturer.

  • The purchase and download of the app-bundle can either be done directly on the Apertis device, or via USB storage, as above.
  • The app-bundle can continue to be used while no Internet connection is available.
  • If the user downloads the files to USB storage and attempts to install them on a device that is installed in a different vehicle, the app-bundle must not be installed or usable on that device.
  • If the user moves the Apertis device from one vehicle to another, the app-bundle must not be launchable on that vehicle until/unless a separate license is purchased.

Suppose the user's vehicle is damaged and “written off”, for example due to an accident. The user obtains a new vehicle.

  • The store curator can choose the business rules they will follow in this case, perhaps influenced by warranty lifetimes. If the store curator wishes to provide the same app-bundles on the replacement vehicle, we anticipate that this would be done in the store backend, for example by having a Trusted dealer confirm that the device has been moved to a replacement vehicle, then issuing new app-bundle licenses for the replacement vehicle at no cost to the user.

Suppose the Apertis device in the vehicle is replaced, either due to hardware failure or accidental damage, or as an upgrade to a higher-specification Apertis device.

  • The user can register the new (vehicle, device) combination with their app-store account.
  • The user can re-download, install and use the same app-bundles that were already licensed to the vehicle, either directly or via USB storage.

Suppose instead that the user sells their vehicle, with the same Apertis device remaining installed. The user performs a data reset to ensure that all personal data gets deleted.

  • The new vehicle owner can associate the Apertis device with their new or existing app-store account.
  • There are multiple options for what should happen during a data reset. All of the following options are required to be supported, but each OEM variant (Apertis-based operating system) is only required to support one of these options. (This is also relevant to Application Layout.)
    1. One option is that the license to each app-bundle associated with the vehicle is revoked, and all the app-bundles on the device are deleted. If the new owner wishes to use those app-bundles, they are required to re-purchase them.
    2. The other possibilities all assume that for each app-bundle licensed for use on the vehicle, the license for that app-bundle is transferred to the new owner. There are several options for what happens to the contents of the device:
      1. Whatever app-bundles happen to have been installed on the device at the point of handover remain installed for the new owner. The new owner can subsequently re-download those app-bundles for the same vehicle; the new owner can also download the other app-bundles whose licenses were transferred.
      2. All app-bundles on the device are deleted. The new owner can subsequently download the app-bundles whose licenses were transferred.
      3. All app-bundles purchased for this device, even those that were not actually installed on the device at the point of handover, are automatically downloaded after handover. (Clearly, this might require Internet access.)
  • If any app-bundles licensed to the vehicle were not installed prior to the data reset, or were uninstalled during the data reset, the new vehicle owner can download and install them in the same ways that the previous vehicle owner could, without additional payment.
  • The new vehicle owner can continue to use and upgrade the app-bundles.

Suppose instead that the user sells their vehicle, removing the Apertis device. The new vehicle owner obtains a new Apertis device.

  • This is essentially a combination of the two previous use-cases.
  • The new vehicle owner can associate the Apertis device with their new or existing app-store account.
  • If the OEM option that the licenses are not revoked was chosen, the new vehicle owner can download and install any app-bundles that were licensed to the vehicle, without additional payment.

Suppose the device is easily removable, and the user moves it to a different vehicle temporarily or permanently.

  • Any app-bundles that are licensed to the first vehicle cannot be launched on the second vehicle, unless the user obtains and installs a separate license for the second vehicle.

Suppose the user attempts to give a friend a copy of the app-bundle without the friend paying for it.

  • If the user downloads the files to USB storage and attempts to install them on a different vehicle, the app-bundle must not be installed or usable on that vehicle.
  • It should be possible for an optimized user interface to detect this and redirect the friend to an appropriate part of the app-store, for example offering the same app-bundle for purchase, or offering a trial version of the same app-bundle.
  • It must not be feasible to extract the contents of the app-bundle (for example music tracks) by unpacking the downloaded files manually.

App-bundle licensed to a device

We anticipate that per-store-account or per-vehicle are the more mainstream options, and this is a lower-priority (more “niche”) option - it might be reasonable to have a design that can cover all of the possibilities, but an initial implementation that omits the per-device option.

An ISV publishes an application bundle for purchase on an app store. The ISV and/or app store curator has chosen to link this bundle's licensing to a specific device (the infotainment unit installed in a vehicle), not to the store account or the vehicle.

A user has a store account which they have associated with one or more vehicles and one or more devices in some way, as in the App-bundle licensed to a store account scenario. The user purchases the app-bundle for use on a specific device.

For this scenario, assume that the app-bundle is a one-time purchase which remains valid forever (see below for details of what would differ for a Subscription-based app-bundle or Time-limited app-bundle).

As with per-vehicle licensing, the availability and purchase price of the app-bundle might vary depending on characteristics of the device. In particular, the app-bundle might only be available for certain devices, and the cost might be zero for certain devices.

  • The purchase and download of the app-bundle can either be done directly on the Apertis device, or via USB storage, as above.
  • The app-bundle can continue to be used while no Internet connection is available.
  • If the user downloads the files to USB storage and attempts to install them on a different different device, the app-bundle must not be installed or usable on that device.

Suppose the user's device is damaged by a hardware failure or accident, and is no longer usable. The damaged device is replaced.

  • The store curator can choose the business rules they will follow in this case, perhaps influenced by warranty lifetimes and whether the repair/replacement was carried out by an authorized dealer who can be trusted to remove old license keys or otherwise cooperate with enforcing conditional access (a Trusted dealer). If, based on their business rules, the store curator considers the new component or the new device to be a replacement for the old, they can issue new license keys allowing conditional-access apps that were linked to the old device to be used on the new device instead.

Suppose the device is easily removable, and the user moves it to a different vehicle temporarily or permanently.

  • Any app-bundles that are licensed to the device remain installed and usable on the new vehicle.

Suppose the user buys a different Apertis device and arranges for an authorized dealer to install it in their vehicle. For example, they might choose to replace a low-end device with a more fully-featured premium device with a higher specification, such as a faster CPU or more memory. If the low-end device is still usable, the user might sell the low-end device to another user, or might sell it back to the authorized dealer (for re-sale to another user) as a part-exchange.

  • Any app-bundles that are licensed to the device are no longer available to the user on their new Apertis device.
  • Both of these results must be supported, with the choice between them depending on the app-store curator's business rules:
    1. The new owner is not granted any licenses, the app-bundles are deleted from the low-end device, and the original owner is granted per-device licenses for the same app-bundles on the premium device instead
      • We anticipate that this result requires the cooperation of a Trusted dealer. It is unlikely to be possible to avoid the possibility of an untrustworthy dealer telling the app store that they have deleted the device-specific licenses from the old device (triggering issuance of licenses for the new device), but not actually doing so, resulting in the same app-bundle existing on two devices without any additional payment.
    2. The original device owner's choice of per-device app-bundles on the low-end device follows the low-end device to its new owner (i.e. the new owner is granted a license for each of those app-bundles, and the original owner does not receive a corresponding license for their new device). There are three further possibilities which should all be supportable:
      1. Whatever app-bundles happen to have been installed on the device at the point of handover remain installed for the new owner. The new owner can subsequently re-download those same app-bundles for the same device.
      2. Another option is that the app-bundles on the device are deleted.
      3. A third option is that all app-bundles purchased for this device, even those that were not actually installed on the device at the point of handover, are automatically downloaded after handover. Clearly, this might require Internet access.

Suppose the user attempts to give a friend a copy of the app-bundle without the friend paying for it.

  • If the user downloads the files to USB storage and attempts to install them on a different device, the app-bundle must not be installed or usable on that device.
  • It must not be feasible to extract the contents of the app-bundle (for example music tracks) by unpacking the downloaded files manually.

App-bundle licensed with multiple factors

It must be possible to combine the scenarios above, to obtain app-bundles that require two or more of: a specified store account, a specified vehicle, and a specified device. This is essentially equivalent to the App-bundle licensed to a vehicle and App-bundle licensed to a device scenarios, except for the use-cases where an existing device or vehicle becomes associated with a new store account: in the other scenarios, the app-bundle remains available to the device, whereas in this scenario, the device's access to the app-bundle is revoked.

Similarly, the scenarios above describe factors that might influence the purchase price for an app, but those factors could be combined (for example an app-bundle that is cheaper or zero-cost if you have an Apertis device from OEM A in a vehicle from manufacturer B).

App-bundle licensed to a class of devices or vehicles

An app-bundle might be licensed to any/all devices or vehicles sharing some common feature, for example all the devices with a particular OEM's variant of Apertis, or all the vehicles of a specific manufacturer, model or family of models.

  • It must be possible for the owner of a device/vehicle in the required class to obtain an app-bundle for installation on their device/vehicle.
  • Non-requirement: The same installation files are not required to be installable on other devices/vehicles of the same class (in other words, it is acceptable for the downloadable installation files for the same app to vary between owners, devices and/or vehicles).
  • The same installation files must not be installable on devices/vehicles not in the required class.
  • It must not be feasible to extract the contents of the app-bundle (for example music tracks) by unpacking the downloaded files manually.

We anticipate that this should be treated as a special case of the scenarios above, so that whenever the user wishes to install the app-bundle on a new device or vehicle, they would effectively purchase a new license for the same app-bundle, with its purchase price reduced to zero whenever business rules dictate that there should be no additional cost.

Time-limited app-bundle

An ISV publishes an app-bundle on a time-limited basis, for example charging a flat fee for 1 year of access. The user buys access to this app-bundle.

We assume for this scenario that the feature being controlled is access to the app-bundle itself. See Per-feature conditional access for the situation where the app-bundle itself remains available, but individual features expire when the subscription runs out.

  • The purchase and download of the app-bundle can either be done directly on the Apertis device, or via USB storage, as above.
  • The app-bundle can be licensed to a store account, a vehicle and/or a device, as above.
  • The app-bundle can be used without Internet access for the duration of its license validity.
  • When the app is launched, if the user's license is still valid, the application must launch.
  • The app-bundle should be able to ask the system how long its license lasts, so that it can warn the user when it is going to expire soon.

App-store curators or ISVs might have differing requirements for the validity period. Suppose 365 days of access to an app-bundle are bought on 2017-01-01, the app-bundle is installed on 2017-01-12, and it is first used on 2017-01-23.

  • The validity period might expire on 2018-01-01, 365 days since the date of purchase.
  • The validity period might expire on 2018-01-12, 365 days since the date of installation.
  • The validity period might expire on 2018-01-23, 365 days since the first use.
  • All of these three options are required to be supported by the framework. Individual OEMs might only use a subset of them.

The app-bundle becomes unavailable for use shortly after its validity period expires.

  • For simplicity, we recommend that a nominal lifetime of (for example) 365 days runs out 365×24×60×60 seconds after it begins, with factors such as time zones entirely ignored.
  • If the app-bundle's nominal lifetime expires while it is running, the app-bundle must continue to run until the end of the current trip, or until specifically closed, whichever comes first. This is an automotive-specific requirement: not distracting the driver is considered to be a higher priority than conditional access, so the system should not arbitrarily terminate a running app-bundle while the driver is using it.
    • Similarly, if the app-bundle is placed in the background, and subsequently terminated by the application framework to save resources, then re-running it should be allowed until the end of the current trip (regardless of the resolution of the unresolved point below).
    • If the app-bundle's nominal lifetime has expired since the beginning of the current trip, but it was specifically closed by the user or was never launched during this trip, either of these behaviours is acceptable:
      1. The user can still launch it for the duration of the trip.
      2. The user cannot re-launch it.
      • Possible future addition: this could be specified in one direction or the other in a future version of this design.
  • When the app-bundle's lifetime expires and there is no longer any other reason to allow it to be launched, it remains installed, and the user's data is not deleted. However, the app-bundle cannot be

launched, and app-specific variable data cannot be accessed.

  • While the app-bundle is installed but cannot be launched, it can still be upgraded. This is so that, if the user purchases additional access, it is less likely that they will inadvertently launch an outdated version of the app (which might have a known security vulnerability or some other important bug) before they have been given the opportunity to upgrade it.
  • The user can uninstall the app-bundle, whether it has already expired or not. Uninstalling the app-bundle deletes all app-specific variable data, as usual. If uninstalled, the app-bundle cannot be reinstalled until a new license is purchased.

A user might try to subvert this system by continuing to use an app-bundle after it has expired.

  • If the user uninstalls and reinstalls the app-bundle, access must still expire after the appropriate time, even if the reinstallation is done without Internet access and using the same USB storage as for the original installation (in other words, without the opportunity to contact the app store).
  • If the user rolls back the app-bundle to an old version, access must still expire after the appropriate time. If they upgrade it again, it must still expire after the appropriate time, even if the upgrade is done without Internet access and using the same USB storage as for the original installation.
  • If the user adjusts the clock so that the expiry date does not appear to be reached, access must still expire after the appropriate number of (real-time) days.
    • Implementation note: with our assumption of a trusted Clock, this can be achieved by ignoring the user-settable time zone, and ensuring that all expiry times/dates are processed using UTC, the same as the device's real-time clock.
  • Replay attacks must not work: if the user repeatedly provides the same access token via USB storage, or cycles through a finite number of access tokens, the system must recognise these as invalid.

After the app-bundle has expired, suppose the user decides that the app-bundle is worth re-purchasing, and purchases a new license.

  • The valid license should be represented by downloading a small licensing token; the content of the app-bundle should not be re-downloaded.
  • Old tokens that are no longer required should be deleted, to avoid filling device storage with an unbounded number of tokens.
  • If the user did not uninstall the app-bundle, then they regain the ability to launch it, and any app-specific variable data that remained on the system.
  • If the user uninstalled the app-bundle, then they can reinstall (with the same or a different version). Its app-specific variable data will not be restored.

Alternatively, the user might buy additional access to the application, for example an additional year, before the previous license has run out.

  • Again, the extended license should be represented by downloading a small licensing token; the content of the app-bundle should not be re-downloaded.
  • The precise definition of the new license's lifetime is decided by the store curator's business rules.
  • We suggest that its expiry date should normally be the date of purchase, plus the advertised lifetime, plus the remaining unused lifetime of the old license if any: for example, if a license bought on 2017-01-01 would normally expire on 2018-01-01, and the user pays for an additional year on 2017-11-01, we suggest that this should normally result in a new license valid until 2019-01-01 and not 2018-11-01. However, it is the app store curator's decision whether to do this or not.

Subscription-based app-bundle

An ISV publishes an app-bundle with a recurring cost, for example charging a monthly fee. The user subscribes to this app-bundle.

We anticipate that app-bundles will normally only be made available via this model if they require at least intermittent Internet access for their normal functionality. However, ISVs may use this model for any app-bundle.

  • The app-bundle can be used without Internet access for a limited time. The ISV or store curator may choose this time based on their business rules. It is a trade-off between two competing factors:
    • if it is too long, the user could terminate their subscription and continue to use the app-bundle until the time expires;
    • if it is too short, the user might be prevented from using the app-bundle even though they are still paying the subscription, if they are unable to obtain a new licensing token sufficiently soon
  • If Internet access is available, the system should obtain a new licensing token at regular intervals to avoid unwanted expiry while Internet access is unavailable.
    • The precise interval between licensing token retrievals depends on the store curator and perhaps the ISV, and should probably also be influenced by the length of the subscription. For example, it might be considered reasonable to try to obtain a new token whenever the current token is halfway to expiring.
    • These new licensing tokens might have a “pull” model where the Apertis device periodically polls the app-store, or a “push” model where the app-store periodically sends tokens to the Apertis device, or a combination of the two.
  • Old tokens that are no longer required should be deleted, to avoid filling device storage with an unbounded number of tokens.

The app-bundle becomes unavailable for use shortly after its most recent validity period expires. For example, this might happen because the user cancels their subscription, or because an instance of the recurring subscription charge is refused by their credit card issuer.

  • The requirements are the same as for a Time-limited app-bundle.
  • In addition, if the Apertis device happens to have Internet access, it might become aware that the license has been revoked, either by polling the app-store (a “pull”) or by being sent a revocation token (a “push”).

A user might try to subvert this system by continuing to use an app-bundle after it has expired.

  • The requirements are the same as for a Time-limited app-bundle.
  • Non-requirement: because we cannot rely on the user to cooperate with a process that is detrimental to them, we cannot rely on the ability to receive license revocations as described above: if the Apertis device is prevented from communicating with the app store, it will never receive the revocation.

After terminating their subscription, the user might decide to resume their subscription.

Time-limited trial version

Suppose the ISV publishes a paid-for navigation app-bundle in the app store, and in addition to the full version, they offer a free, time-limited trial version (for example it might last for 30 days). A user downloads the trial version.

We suggest that this is implemented as a time-limited app-bundle where the first 30-day token can be “purchased” for no cost, but the app store refuses to issue a second token to the same entity (store account, vehicle and/or device as appropriate) without payment, and paid tokens are longer-lasting or unlimited.

  • The download of the app-bundle can be done directly on the Apertis device, or via USB storage, as above.
  • The trial version can be licensed to a store account, a vehicle or a device, as above.
  • The combined system consisting of the app-store and the Apertis system must be able to prevent additional trial periods for the same entity (store account, device or vehicle as appropriate).
    • We suggest only enforcing this on the app-store side, so that the Apertis side does not rule out repeated promotions. For example, an ISV might wish to offer “free access to this app this month” on more than one occasion, with the promotion available to users who participated in a previous promotion.
  • The trial version can be used until it expires, as above.
  • The trial version cannot be used after it expires, as above.
  • The app-store curator or ISV must be able to specify that the limited trial starts the first time the application is launched, and not on a date fixed at the time of “purchase”. This is specifically required for this scenario even if it is not supported for the other time-limited scenarios.
  • The trial version might have limited functionality when compared with the paid version.
    • This can be implemented by considering the differences between the trial version and the full version to be a Per-feature conditional access feature, and including that feature at no additional cost with any license for the full version.

(See Per-feature conditional access for the scenario where a trial version is not time-limited, which is outside the scope of this scenario.)

OS developer access

A developer working on the Apertis operating system (i.e. the upstream Apertis open-source project) or an Apertis variant (for example for an OEM) might need to modify an Apertis device so that it can execute arbitrary code of their choice within the trusted computing base. It should be possible to provision an Apertis device in a special “developer mode”.

  • App-bundles compiled by the OS developer must be installable on an OS developer device. The developer must be able to carry out the app-store role themselves, for instance marking any app-bundle as having been validated, using the same cryptographic protocols that a real app-store would use, but using cryptographic keys controlled by the OS developer instead of cryptographic keys that are known only to the app-store.
    • This is necessary for development and testing. If the app-bundles were functionally different (for example, if they were not signed at all), then the OS developer would not be able to reproduce or solve bugs in the conditional access.
    • The use of cryptographic keys controlled by the OS developer is analogous to Android development using “test keys” instead of Google or OEM signing keys.
  • App-bundles from a real app-store must not normally be installable on an OS developer device.
    • This is because an OS developer must be able to modify all components in the TCB, including any services responsible for enforcing conditional access (for example a licensing service), the low-level libraries that those services rely on, and the kernel. With that level of access, they would be able to defeat any conditional access scheme; a user who somehow obtained an OS developer device would be able to bypass conditional access.
    • The developer might arrange with the app-store curator to receive access to versions of app-bundles that can still run on their device, if this is consistent with the app-store's business rules. For example, if Unrestricted app-bundles are made available on a per-device basis, it would be valuable for the app-store to provide versions of zero-cost applications that OS developers can use; this could include commonly preinstalled apps such as web browsers, and/or special developer apps such as debuggers. If an authorized developer is under a suitable non-disclosure agreement with the app-store curator, the app-store curator might also be willing to provide certain normally-restricted app-bundles in an unrestricted form that can be re-signed and installed by the OS developer, for example so that the developer can test interoperability with them.
  • In addition to any special SDK or development images that might be available with additional tools, OS developer devices must be able to run images that are the essentially same as production (target) images for the same hardware, but with different cryptographic keys provisioned.
    • Otherwise, it would be impossible for an OS developer to debug issues that might be influenced by the differences between target and development/SDK images.
  • Non-requirement: It is anticipated that OS developers will use special-purpose hardware, therefore it is not necessary that an OS developer device can be re-provisioned as a production (consumer) device.

A user who is not an authorized developer might try to defeat conditional-access schemes (“jailbreaking” their Apertis device) by obtaining an OS-developer version of the operating system, for example one made available by apertis.org.

  • Production devices must not accept developer versions as valid OS updates.
    • For example, production OS images could be signed with cryptographic keys whose controller guarantees to only sign production-mode images that enforce conditional access, and never sign developer-mode images that do not; and the updater, and/or a facility analogous to UEFI Secure Boot, could check for a signature from those keys.

App developer access

A developer working on an Apertis application (for example for an ISV) needs to be able to run the app-bundle that they are developing.

  • Non-requirement: The developer is not required to be able to install app-bundles without registering a Developer account.
  • After registering a developer account and associating the new app's bundle ID with that developer account, the developer must receive the necessary information to be able to compile an app-bundle that can be installed on a device that is associated with their developer account, and has a store account also associated with their developer account.
    • For example, the app store could provide the developer with a conditional access license key per store account which allows unlimited use of that app-bundle (on a specific device or on all devices), and can be compiled into the app-bundle.
    • Compiling these app-bundles must not require the developer to obtain validation from the app-store curator.
      • This is so that the developer can develop and test an unfinished version of their app.
  • If this app-bundle does not require any special permissions flags, the developer must be able to install it on the device, again without validation by the app-store curator.
    • The developer may be required to carry out some special action on the device, similar to the ways in which on-device developer mode, and remote debugging by a specific PC, are protected in Android.
  • If this app-bundle requires special permissions flags, but those flags solely exist to protect the integrity, availability or confidentiality of the user's data, then the developer must be able to install it on the device. This may require on-device confirmation, either when the app is installed or when a special developer mode is activated.
  • If there is a special developer mode, performing a data reset must return the device to its initial “non-developer” state.
    • This is the same behaviour as on Android.
  • The developer must not be able to install app-bundles whose bundle IDs are not among those associated with their developer account.
    • If they could, then they might be able to extract confidential data from another developer's app-bundle, by overwriting the executable part of that app-bundle with their own version.

A user might try to defeat conditional-access schemes (“jailbreaking” their Apertis device) by registering as an app developer and making use of permissions flags that can bypass conditional access.

  • If the app-bundle implementation supports any permissions flags that could be used to break the conditional access model or the TCB, and the developer's app-bundle has any of those flags, then the device must not allow that app-bundle to be installed.
    • These flags, if they exist, must be reserved for applications that have been developed and tested using OS developer access, and have been carefully validated by the app-store curator. We recommend source code auditing for such applications.

Trusted dealer

We might need to trust certain authorized vehicle dealers, garages or other sale/repair locations to participate in the licensing process. For example, if an Apertis device with faulty hardware is replaced with a working device of the same specification, the dealer might notify the app-store that they have done this and destroyed/wiped the old device's device key, giving the device IDs of the two devices and the Vehicle identification number. If the app-store trusts that assertion to be true, they could give the new device access to all the bundles that were licensed to the old device, at no extra cost, on the basis that the old device's device key has been put out of use.

The scope of this design includes a protocol for communicating that assertion from the trusted dealer to the app-store, and proving that it really came from the trusted dealer.

Unresolved: Is there a standard automotive jargon term for these entities?

Per-feature conditional access

An ISV could opt to allow individual features, services or items of content in an app-bundle to have conditional access, with the app-bundle as a whole remaining available at all times. For brevity, we refer to these as “features” here. Use-cases for this include:

  • A streaming (“radio”) app might have conditional access for individual “channels”. For example, the app-bundle might be installable with access to a limited number of channels at zero cost, with additional app-store or in-app payments required for premium channels. Each channel could be modelled as a “feature”.
  • A game might have conditional access for extra levels and other downloadable content. For example, the app-bundle might have a cost for the base game, with additional app-store or in-app payments required for DLC. Each DLC item could be modelled as a “feature”.
  • A navigation app might not be available as a standalone purchase at all, but might have multiple map packs for different countries, with the app itself (and a license to launch it) bundled with the first map pack purchased. The map packs could be modelled as “features” subordinate to the app itself; including a free license for the app itself with each map pack, and not offering the app for sale separately, could be a matter of business logic in the server side of the app-store.
  • An app-bundle might be offered with both a free trial version (either a Time-limited trial version, or non-time-limited), and a paid version with additional functionality. The additional functionality could be modelled as a “feature”.
  • Non-requirement: A music player with integration into a service such as iTunes might have conditional access for tracks, albums or both. However, this could result in managing hundreds or thousands of individual “features” for a complete media library, and it seems likely that a service such as iTunes would wish to have its own orthogonal model of accounts and item ownership. As a result, we do not recommend treating this as in-scope for per-feature conditional access.

General requirements for these:

  • It must be possible for each app-bundle to have more than one conditional-access token with different names or identifiers.
  • One of those conditional-access tokens must control whether the application can be installed and launched at all. Depending on the ISV's business rules, this might be set to never expire, with all further conditional access done inside the application. The rest of the tokens represent “features”.
  • It must be possible to link these tokens to a store account, device or vehicle.
  • The “base app” and each “feature” must each be able to follow any supported time-limitation model, independently of one another. For example, a navigation app might be a one-off purchase with no time limit, but its map packs might require subscription.
  • The app-bundle must be able to obtain a list of its other conditional-access tokens and their expiry dates.
  • Only one level of “feature” is required; hierarchies are not required.
  • For some use-cases, a “feature” does not require an additional download. For example, DLC in games is often present in all installations and merely needs to be “unlocked”, particular for purely cosmetic features.
  • For other use-cases, each “feature” would imply downloading a separate file or files. For example, map packs for navigation software are sufficiently large that they should not be provided until needed.
  • Potential future addition: online feature validation. For high-value content, it might be possible for the application to trigger online re-validation of a particular conditional-access feature token or tokens, to confirm that a subscription has not been revoked.
  • Possible future addition: features bound to different entities If the “base app” is licensed to a particular type of entity (for example a store account), additional features could conceivably be licensed to a different type of entity (for example a vehicle or a (store account, vehicle) pair). For example, an ISV might wish to sell their navigation app on a per-store-account basis, but sell a speed camera location add-on for that app at an additional cost per vehicle. However, this is not currently considered to be a requirement.

Validating access to web APIs

Suppose an app-bundle uses a web service provided by the ISV; for example, a navigation software developer might provide a web service that can be queried to locate nearby traffic congestion. The ISV wants to limit access to this web service, only allowing access by users who have paid for a valid, non-expired subscription to the corresponding app-bundle.

  • The app-bundle must be able to communicate with the web service and possibly the app-store in a way that proves to the web service that it is validly licensed for a particular app-bundle.
  • That communication must not reveal any information from the device or vehicle that would allow the entity operating the web service to circumvent conditional access for any other app-bundle. Ideally, it would not reveal any information that would allow the ISV to circumvent conditional access for the current app-bundle either.
  • Similarly, the communication with the web service and app store must not result in the app-bundle's credentials being made available to other app-bundles, in a way that would allow other app-bundles to impersonate the first app-bundle.
  • For privacy reasons, that communication should not reveal the Store account ID, Device ID or Vehicle identification number to the web service, unless they are specifically required for this transaction.
  • Conversely, the communication may reveal the store account, device ID and/or VIN to the app-store, provided that this is done via a connection with strong confidentiality (such as https).

Conditional access to a theme

This scenario is not currently a requirement. It is described here for comparison.

Possible future addition: Suppose an ISV publishes a system extension containing a theme. This does not contain executable code that is launched, but it affects the operation of the system (because all applications load it, if configured). It is made available in the same way as one of the above scenarios.

  • The user can select the theme for use whenever they would be able to launch a similarly-licensed program.
  • The user cannot select the theme if its time expires, if applicable.
  • To avoid driver distraction, an expired theme should remain active until the vehicle is stopped.
  • If the user switches to a different theme, they cannot switch back to the expired theme.
  • If the user has not already switched to an unexpired theme, the system automatically switches to either the previously-selected theme, or a system default theme. This must be done at or before the next time the Apertis device is shut down.

Conditional access to a preinstalled app

An OEM might arrange for a store app-bundle to be pre-installed on a device, for example as part of a promotion, but unavailable for use until it is purchased, either as a one-off purchase, an ongoing subscription or a time-limited purchase.

  • The requirements are identical to what would happen if it had been purchased and installed, and then its subscription or time limit expired: it remains present on the device, and can be upgraded, but cannot be launched until it has a valid license, and cannot be reinstalled once installed.

An OEM might arrange for a store app-bundle to appear to be pre-installed on a device, but in fact only provide a placeholder which will trigger purchase (if required) and download when launched, similar to the scenario above. For example, this would be appropriate if the store app-bundle that the OEM wishes to promote is not ready for release when the OS installation image is released to manufacturing, but it is anticipated that it will be ready by the time consumers receive devices with that OS installation image (similar to “day 1 DLC” on games consoles).

  • The requirements are identical to the above. In addition, the app-bundle must not be required to have content, other than what is required for a menu entry (an icon and some minimal metadata).
  • This could be implemented by having “version 0” of the app-bundle be a placeholder containing only metadata, shipping it without a valid license as above, and “upgrading” to version 1 (with real content) when a license is obtained.

Conditional access to a built-in app

This scenario is not currently a requirement. It is described here for comparison.

An OEM might include a built-in app-bundle in their OS images that is unavailable for use until it is purchased. Alternatively, the built-in app bundle might be available for use, but have features that are not available, with or without an additional download required to activate them.

Conditional access to an OS extension

This scenario is not currently a requirement. It is described here for comparison.

Possible future addition: Suppose an ISV publishes a system extension containing executable code, for example a Telepathy connection manager for a particular real-time communications protocol, or a GStreamer plugin for a particular audio or video format. It is made available in the same way as one of the above scenarios.

  • The user can select or use the system extension whenever appropriate, for example to create an account for that real-time communications protocol, or to play a video in that format.
  • The user cannot select or use the system extension at any time when an app with the equivalent conditional access would not be available for launching.
  • If the OS extension expires or its subscription is terminated while it is currently in use, it must remain available until no more app-bundles are using it.
    • ‘‘As a generic solution that does not rely on the licensing service being able to determine what “in use” means for this particular extension, we suggest keeping it available until the end of the current trip.

For certain extensions, for example those based on loading library code (such as GStreamer plugins), use of a system extension is only possible if the app-bundle making use of the plugin can read the file containing the executable plugin code. This implies that if a malicious app-bundle author intends to bypass conditional access, it would be physically possible for that process to copy it.

  • The terms and conditions of a Developer account should forbid copying system extensions and other system files into the application's private storage or sending them to the network, so that if this is detected, it can have appropriate legal consequences.
  • The platform should make some attempt to detect when this is done, either at runtime or during validation. However, OEMs and ISVs should note that it will not, in general, be possible to detect or prevent this if the malicious app-bundle author is careful, because the platform cannot distinguish between an encrypted or obfuscated copy of the plugin, and (for example) an encrypted or compressed database of application-specific data.
  • If a system extension mechanism is anticipated to require conditional access, its designer should balance performance considerations against the confidentiality needed to enforce conditional access. For example, communicating with a service or agent via inter-process communication does not have this concern.

Platform upgrades and downgrades

The Apertis platform is designed to be upgraded, either over-the-air or via USB storage devices. The System Update and Rollback design document also calls for a rollback mechanism, to be used if an updated version is faulty.

If a particular version of the platform images for a device has a flaw in its conditional access mechanisms, or an exploitable flaw which can be used to subvert a component that needs to be trusted by the conditional access mechanisms (such as the kernel), then a device owner might attempt to use this to bypass conditional access. Suppose version 13 has such a flaw, which is fixed in version 14.

  • The app-store must not provide new app-bundles with non-trivial access restrictions to an OS image such as version 13 that is known to have flaws affecting its conditional-access, unless the OS image is the latest available and the app-store curator considers denial of service (inability to sell new app-bundles) to be a greater commercial risk than weakening conditional access.
    • This might be implemented by not allowing any new app-bundles to be installed on OS images that are not the latest version available, regardless of whether they are known to have conditional access flaws (which would also reduce the number of variables from a QA point of view).
  • If a device was shipped with platform version 14 or later, the device owner must never be able to install version 13.
  • If the device has ever been upgraded to version 14 or later, the device owner must not be able to downgrade to version 13.
    • As an exception, if the “last-known-good” platform version before the most recent upgrade was version 13, the device owner may be allowed to roll back to that version as required by the System Update and Rollback designs. This prevents the following scenario: suppose version 13 has a flaw which can bypass conditional access, but version 14 has an even more serious problem, such as inability to start up, a bug that has a safety impact, or a remotely exploitable security vulnerability. Users who were previously running version 13 should still be able to undo the upgrade to version 14 and return to version 13, until a new version 15 fixing both issues can be released.

Transition between charging models

An ISV might change the terms under which they are willing to sell an application bundle (assumed to be identified by its bundle ID).

Giving the new version a new bundle ID, and ceasing to sell the old bundle ID, is one way this could be addressed, but because we treat app-bundles as “black boxes” and do not currently have any plans for a mechanism by which com.example.NewApp can gain privileged access to files “owned” by com.example.OldApp, it seems likely that the ISV would wish to keep the same bundle ID.

  • An application might change its licensing model in ways that make it more open/lenient (allowing things that were previously forbidden), for example switching from a time-limited or subscription model to a one-off purchase with no expiry, or switching from per-(store account, vehicle) to per-store-account licensing. Depending on the app store's business rules and the relative costs of the old and new licenses, users who have paid for the old model might receive a free license under the new model, or they might have to pay for one (for example when their subscription runs out, they might not be able to continue to use the app unless they pay a one-off cost for permanent access).
  • An application might change its licensing model in ways that make it more closed/strict (forbidding things that were previously allowed), for example switching from a one-off purchase to a time-limited or subscription model, or switching from per-store-account licensing (with unlimited devices and vehicles) to per-(store account, vehicle) licensing. Depending on the app store's business rules, users who have paid for the old model might continue to have access under the old model, or they might be made to switch to the new model.
  • An application might change its licensing model in ways that are ambiguously more or less open (allowing some things that were previously forbidden but simultaneously forbidding some things that were previously allowed), for example switching from per-device to per-vehicle licensing. Again, depending on the app store's business rules, users with access under the old model might retain it, or be moved to the new model, or they might get access to both.

Requirements:

  • The app store may issue new licenses to users at any time, according to its business rules. The next time the user downloads anything from the app-store, any updated license tokens for all of their app-bundles are included.
  • Any license token that allows a strict subset of what another license token does should be discarded, to free the space that it occupied.
    • For example, if the user has a permanent license for store account S123 and device ID 654, and receives a new permanent license for store account S123 on all devices, then the device-limited license token should be discarded.
    • Similarly, if the user has a 1-year license token for store account S123 and device ID 789, and receives a new permanent license for store account S123 and device ID 789, the time-limited token should be discarded.
  • If the terms of an application bundle change in a way that is unfavourable to the user (for example switching from per-store-account to per-(store account, device) licensing), or that is neither “strictly better” nor “strictly worse” for the user (for example switching from per-device to per-vehicle licensing), and the device discovers that the new terms exist, it must enforce them.
    • This should be approached carefully from a business, legal and public-relations point of view.
    • If this is required, we recommend that it should be explicit: new tokens should normally be installed alongside old. If a new token must revoke old tokens, it should specifically indicate what it revokes, perhaps by identifying the old tokens by a sequence number or a cryptographic hash.
    • Note that we cannot prevent a user from keeping their device offline if they anticipate that a subsequent update will be detrimental to them.
    • If a revoked license token is subsequently presented to the device again (perhaps via a USB storage device), it must be ignored.

Unresolved assumption/requirement questions

Unresolved questions about the Possible future additions are not listed here.

Possible future additions

None of these features are required to be supported at this time. Some are described in more detail above; others are only described here.

Conditional Access Implementation

These notes on proposed implementations of Conditional Access are not up-to-date with the current view of the requirements. Proposed implementation Security model The properties we are protecting are: confidentiality of the contents of app-bundles integrity of the information that the app manager uses to decide whether an app-bundle can be launched The attacker is a user of Apertis devices who aims to read the DRM-protected content (such as music) contained in the app-bundle, or to induce the Apertis system to allow them to launch the app-bundle when it should not. [Read More]