While the electricity grid gets smarter and electric vehicles continue to make inroads in the market, researchers have developed a combined cyber and physical security system to prevent an array of security issues associated with EVs and their charging stations.
In addition to the threat of stolen EVs plugged into charging stations, another danger of EV adoption is "substitution attacks", when a perpetrator spoofs the authentication of an EV to use the charger and steal electricity. To remedy this issue, the researchers' system improves the classic “challenge-response” method for cyber security by sending dual challenges both on the wireless cyber path and through the charging cable. The combination of cyber and physical authentication verifies the correct use of charging stations.
While the design requires an onboard hardware mechanism to tie the EV to its digital identity, the scientists found a way to embed the challenge number in the charging station, meaning that existing stations will not need to be modified to use the new technology.