CAN do attitude: How thieves steal cars using network bus


Automotive security experts say they have uncovered a method of car theft relying on direct access to the vehicle’s system bus via a smart headlamp’s wiring.

It all started when a Toyota RAV4 belonging to one of the tech gurus suffered suspicious damage to the front wing and headlight housing, and was eventually successfully stolen. Some sleuthing and reverse engineering revealed how the motor was finally nicked.

Ken Tindell, CTO of Canis Automotive Labs, said the evidence pointed to thieves’ successful execution of a so-called CAN injection.

A Controller Area Network (CAN) bus is present in nearly all modern cars, and is used by microcontrollers and other devices to talk to each other within the vehicle and carry out the work they are supposed to do.

Read more…