New 4CAN tool helps identify vulnerabilities in on-board car computers
Modern automobiles contain hundreds of sensors and mechanics that communicate via computers to understand their surrounding environment. Those components provide real-time information to drivers, connect the vehicle to a global network, and in some cases use that telemetry to automatically drive the vehicle. Like any computer, those in vehicles are susceptible to threats, such as vulnerabilities in software, abuse via physical-access, or even allowing remote control of the vehicle, as recently demonstrated by Wired and a DARPA-funded team of researchers.
During a recent engagement, the Connected Vehicle Security practice identified a gap in tooling for automobile security assessments. With ease-of-use, modern car computing requirements, and affordability as motivating factors, the Connected Vehicle Security practice has built and is open-sourcing a hardware tool called “4CAN” with accompanying software, for the benefit of all automobile security researchers. We hope 4CAN will give researchers and car manufacturers the ability to test their on-board computers for potential vulnerabilities, making the vehicles safer and more secure for drivers before they even leave the lot.
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