top of page
  • Writer's pictureotw

Automobile Hacking: The ICS Simulator, Part 2

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

Welcome back, my aspiring automobile cyber warriors!

In part 1 of the series on the ICS simulator, we installed the can-utils and the ICS simulator instrument panel and controls. In this tutorial, we will use the can-utils or SOCKET CAN to view and analyze the CAN traffic.

As you remember from my Automobile Hacking, Part 2 tutorial, can-utils contains the following utilities;

1. Basic tools to display, record, generate and replay CAN traffic

  • candump : display, filter and log CAN data to files

  • canplayer : replay CAN logfiles

  • cansend : send a single frame

  • cangen : generate (random) CAN traffic

  • cansniffer : display CAN data content differences (just 11bit CAN IDs)

2. CAN access via IP sockets

  • canlogserver : log CAN frames from a remote/local host

  • bcmserver : interactive BCM configuration (remote/local)

  • socketcand : use RAW/BCM/ISO-TP sockets via TCP/IP sockets

3. CAN in-kernel gateway configuration

  • cangw : CAN gateway userpace tool for netlink configuration

4. CAN bus measurement and testing

  • canbusload : calculate and display the CAN busload

  • can-calc-bit-timing : userspace version of in-kernel bitrate calculation

  • canfdtest : Full-duplex test program (DUT and host part)

In this tutorial, we will focus on;

1. cansniffer

2. candump

3. canplayer

4. cansend

Step #1: Start the cansniffer

Let's begin by sniffing the CAN traffic using cansniffer. With this utility you must specify the interface (vcan0, in our case) and if you want to see the colorized output, use the -c option.

kali > cansniffer -c vcan0

As soon as you enter this command, you should begin to see the CAN network traffic displayed in your terminal similar to the screenshot below.

When we use the -c option, the values that are changing turn a red color to help us identify these key values.

Step #2 Use cansniffer to Filter for Specific Traffic

Rather than watch all the traffic go past our terminal, we can filter traffic similarly to the more widely used sniffer, Wireshark.

Let's look at the help screen in cansniffer to learn to do so.

kali > cansniffer -h

Then, if we only wanted to see traffic from ID=161, we could enter;

kali > cansniffer -c vcan0

Once the sniffer has started, we can then enter;



It's important to note that when you enter the above commands, they will not appear on the screen. Once you have entered the ID number, the sniffer will begin to filter out all traffic but those with the ID= 161

As you can see in the screenshot above, cansniffer now displays just the data for ID=161

Step #3 Using candump to capture CAN traffic

While the cansniffer is capable of sniffing traffic on the CAN network similarly to Wireshark, the candump utility in can-utils is capable of capturing CAN traffic and storing it into a file for analysis or replay at a later time.

To do so, we can need only to use the -l option to log and the -c option to colorize the output.

kali > candump -c -l vcan0

If we want to log AND view the output, we can use the -s 0 option (silent mode 0). In addition, if we want to output to be converted from hex to ASCII (human readable), we can add the -a (ASCII) option. This starts candump in colorize mode, with ASCII output, storing the data into a log file and simultaneously sending it to the terminal (stdout).

kali > candump -c -l -s 0 -a vcan0

Step #4 Using canplayer

We also have another key CAN network tool, canplayer. This tool enables us to "play" the output from candump. So, we could capture the data from the CAN network and then replay it on the network. We only need to use the -I option followed by the name of the log file from candump.

kali >canplayer -I candump-xxxxxxxxxxx.log

Step #5: Using cansend to Send Custom Frames

Finally, we have the cansend tool. This tool enables us replay a specific frame or to send a custom crafted CAN frame. If we want to resend a single frame we isolated above with ID=161,

we do so by entering;

kali > cansend vcan0 161#000005500108000d


vcan0 is the interface

161# is the frame ID

000005500108000D is the data we want to send

Now, when we hit enter, the custom CAN frame will be sent over the network. I hope it is obvious that when we reverse engineer the network, this is the command we will use to initiate the actions we desire on the CAN network such as; accelerate, open the door, initiate brakes, etc.


Now that we have installed the ICS Simulator and understand the basics of the key can-utils tools, we can now begin to use these tools to reverse engineer the CAN bus on our ICS Simulator and take control of the vehicle!

2,659 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 ความคิดเห็น

03 ม.ค. 2566

I’m excited to write about Henry Hacker, he is a great and brilliant hacker who penetrated my spouse’s phone without a physical installation app. And I was able to access my spouse’s phone, SMS, Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Wechat, Snapchat, Call Logs, Kik, Twitter and all social media. The most amazing thing there is that he restores all phone deleted text messages. And I also have access to everything including the phone gallery without touching the phone.I can see the whole secret of my spouse. Contact him for any hacking service. He is also a genius in repairing Credit Score, increasing school grade, Clear Criminal Record etc. His service is fast. Contact:, and you can text, call him on whatsapp…

bottom of page