Former Tesla Intern Releases $60 Open Source Car Hacking Kit
Ashley Allen / 2 years ago
Ever since cars added on-board computers, there has been a market for hacking them, but the service was too often prohibitively expensive and relied on the few who knew what they were doing. In recent years, though, the market has opened up as the tech has become cheaper and the hardware becomes more intuitive.
Now, Eric Evenchick, a former Telsa intern, has developed a custom hardware/software kit, designed to hack into a car’s system, and he’s selling it for less than $60. The CANtact (CAN for Controller Area Network, the standard car computer network) is a Python-based system that can be hooked up to a car’s computer and operated though a Mac, Windows, or Linux PC.
“I want to make this easy. Python developers can get the code in one line … and start working with it. It’s also built as a library rather than just a collection of scripts. The plan is to build more functionality out around it, and contribute that back into an open source tool,” Evenchick told Forbes.
“Making diagnostics available for cheap means that we can not only audit the security of these systems, but also use them for their intended purpose: fixing cars,” he added. “One of the big problems is access to vehicles. Ford, let’s say, won’t let anyone with security skills in to hack it.”
Evenchick will be shipping the CANtact for $59.95, though the necessary OBD2 diagnostic tool is not included. The first batch will only be 100 models, but the system is totally open source, so industrious tech-heads could even build their own.