Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

Notice: This project is original version of vircar. The change of name occured on 12/04/17.


virtualcar (vir-tual-car) is a CAN-based wrapper written in C, that acts as a virtual car. The core is listening to the virtual CAN device and parse, analyze and transmit signal from nodes to nodes, or in other way manipulate with request.

This software is licensed under GNU General Public V3 license. Please, keep the software open source and contribute to the project if you want.

The project is developed on top of SocketCAN module and therefore requires Linux based system. I am currently rewriting the SocketCAN module for MacOS and you may fork the repository from duraki/socketcanx.

a car? really?

Yes! A fully, functional car.
Well, not really no. It does represent a car/vehicle but in a limited spirit and form. I was writing a post about cyber-attacks on a vehicle systems and another one that show virtualcar in action, and didn't have necessary (hardware) equipment to test the techniques, so I wrote this to let myself experiment a bit.

So a few months passed, and I talked about this little code on a BalCCon 2k16 where I offered a small introduction to these cyber-attacks, plus you could buy me a drink and I'd tell you some secrets. So I renamed this project and I'll try to develop some nodes as per request in Issues board. Meanwhile, I'd appreciate pull requests that make sense.


Currently, virtualcar offers several different controllers or nodes that understand a particular signal and either accept or reject the CAN frame. I'm implementing both data frames and RTR. The RTR has some basic functions like asking for value of an instrument.

virtualcar nodes:

  • NODE_SIGNAL_DOOR_MODE - Door actions

TODO nodes (@see nodes.h):



I'm sorry, the virtualcar-web is being developed and there is some kind of version floating as a private repository and a submodule in this repo. Anyway, virtualcar-web should be used as web-interface to manipulate with virtualcar daemon. It's written in Rails and support some interesting things but more about that inside virtualcar-web repository and README file.

$ git submodule init
Submodule 'virtualcar-web' (...) registered for path 'virtualcar-web'

$ git submodule update
Cloning into 'virtualcar-web'...

To update or fetch the virtualcar-web project:

$ cd virtualcar/virtualcar-web
$ git fetch

$ git merge origin/master


I love to write pure native scripts. The only requirement for now is that you are running under GNU Linux and have can-utils installed on your system.

  • gcc
  • linux kernel (can.h)
  • can-utils

compile & running

To clone the repo and compile it from source:

$ git clone
$ cd virtualcar 
$ make
$ chmod 777 virtualcar 

To run virtualcar use sudo (entirely for CAN bus device linking)

$ sudo ./virtualcar
Welcome to vir(tual) car.

# waiting for operation

To exit vircar use Ctrl+C.
To kill a car and remove protocol use:

$ ./virtualcar k
ka-boom, pfw, aaa, ts
*car exploded*


If you are interested in car hacking, write me on twitter. Any additional options and CAN nodes should be accepted if they follow RTR or Accept/Desctruct operation. Please, keep the code and project with clean lines of code.

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