Vulnerabilities / Threats

12/5/2018
02:50 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Toyota Builds Open-Source Car-Hacking Tool

'PASTA' testing platform specs will be shared via open-source.

BLACK HAT EUROPE 2018 – London – A Toyota security researcher on his flight from Japan here to London carried on-board a portable steel attaché case that houses the carmaker's new vehicle cybersecurity testing tool.

Takuya Yoshida, a member of Toyota's InfoTechnology Center, along with his Toyota colleague Tsuyoshi Toyama, are part of the team that developed the new tool, called PASTA (Portable Automotive Security Testbed), an open-source testing platform for researchers and budding car hacking experts. The researchers here today demonstrated the tool, and said Toyota plans to share the specifications on Github, as well as sell the fully built system in Japan initially.

What makes the tool so intriguing – besides its 8 kg portable briefcase size – is that automobile manufacturers long had either ignored or dismissed cybersecurity research exposing holes in the automated and networked features in their vehicles. Toyota's building this tool and sharing its specifications via open source is a major shift for an automaker.


Toyota's Tsuyoshi Toyama (left) and Takuya Yoshida (right) show off the PASTA testing platform at Black Hat Europe.
Toyota's Tsuyoshi Toyama (left) and Takuya Yoshida (right) show off the PASTA testing platform at Black Hat Europe.

"There was a delay in the development of cybersecurity in the automobile industry; [it's] late," Toyama said in the pair's talk here today. Now automakers including Toyota are preparing for next-generation attacks, he said, but there remains a lack of security engineers that understand auto technology.

That was a driver for the tool: to help researchers explore how the car's engine control units (ECUs) operate, as well as the CAN protocol used for communicating among elements of the vehicle, and to test out vulnerabilities and exploits.

Toyama said the tool isn't meant for the live, moving-car hacking that Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek performed: the goal was to offer a safe platform for researchers who may not have the expertise of Miller and Valasek, for example. It simulates remote operation of wheels, brakes, windows, and other car features rather than "the real thing," for safety reasons. "It's small and portable so users can study, research, and hack with it anywhere."

The PASTA platform holds four ECUs inside, as well as LED panels that are controllable by the researcher to run any tests of the car system operation, or attacks such as injecting CAN messages. It includes ODBII and RS232C ports, as well as a port for debugging or binary hacking, he said.

"You can modify the programming of ECUs in C" as well, he said.

The researchers integrated the tool with a driving simulator program, as well as with a model car to demonstrate some ways it can be used. PASTA also can be used for R&D purposes with real vehicles: that would allow a carmaker to test how a third party feature would affect the vehicle and its security, or reprogram firmware, for example.

Toyota plans to later add to PASTA Ethernet, LIN, and CAN FD, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular communications features for testing. 

PASTA soon will be available on Github, the researchers said.

Related Content:

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Microsoft, Mastercard Aim to Change Identity Management
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  12/3/2018
Windows 10 Security Questions Prove Easy for Attackers to Exploit
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  12/5/2018
Starwood Breach Reaction Focuses on 4-Year Dwell
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  12/5/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: I guess this answers the question: who's watching the watchers?
Current Issue
10 Best Practices That Could Reshape Your IT Security Department
This Dark Reading Tech Digest, explores ten best practices that could reshape IT security departments.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-20000
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-10
Apereo Bedework bw-webdav before 4.0.3 allows XXE attacks, as demonstrated by an invite-reply document that reads a local file, related to webdav/servlet/common/MethodBase.java and webdav/servlet/common/PostRequestPars.java.
CVE-2018-20001
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-10
In Libav 12.3, there is a floating point exception in the range_decode_culshift function (called from range_decode_bits) in libavcodec/apedec.c that will lead to remote denial of service via crafted input.
CVE-2018-20002
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-10
The _bfd_generic_read_minisymbols function in syms.c in the Binary File Descriptor (BFD) library (aka libbfd), as distributed in GNU Binutils 2.31, has a memory leak via a crafted ELF file, leading to a denial of service (memory consumption), as demonstrated by nm.
CVE-2018-19991
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-10
VeryNginx 0.3.3 allows remote attackers to bypass the Web Application Firewall feature because there is no error handler (for get_uri_args or get_post_args) to block the API misuse described in CVE-2018-9230.
CVE-2018-19653
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-09
HashiCorp Consul 0.5.1 through 1.4.0 can use cleartext agent-to-agent RPC communication because the verify_outgoing setting is improperly documented. NOTE: the vendor has provided reconfiguration steps that do not require a software upgrade.