Toyota has officially started shipping cybersecurity research tool – PASTA (Portable Automotive Security Testbed with Adaptability) which was co-developed by a research team from Toyota Info Technology Center and Yokohama National University. Available at a price of U$28,300, the primary purpose of this tool is to test the robustness of a car security system, though it can be used for car hacking as well.

Weighing at 8.3 kg and enclosed in a portable steel briefcase, PASTA was initially unveiled by Toyota at Black Hat Europe in 2018, marking a tremendous shift in the auto industry ,as automakers have traditionally shied away from cybersecurity research which exposes loop holes in a car’s security system. 

In the beginning of the year, Toyota placed PASTA’s open source specification on GitHub, including those of the platform itself, CAN (controller area network) ID maps, ECU (engine control unit) program codes, and ECU circuit diagrams.

The tool though is not meant for moving- car hacking research, rather more for simulated car hacking, which involves simulating the remote operation of a vehicle so that researchers can find and discover system vulnerabilities.

The tools consists of four ECUs as well as LED panels which can be used to run tests or simulate attacks such as injecting malicious ECU messages. The tool also supports binary hacking through the availability of ODBII and RS232C ports.