Brokenwire Hack may enable remote attackers to disrupt charging for electric vehicles, as has been disclosed by a group of academics from the University of Oxford and Armasuisse S+T.
The new technique is used remotely to attack the popular Combined Charging System (CCS)
Disrupting its ability to charge electric vehicles at scale. Brokenwire is a method that interferes with the control communications between the vehicle and charger resulting in wirelessly aborting the charging sessions from a distance of as far as 47m (151ft).
The researchers explained, “While it may only be an inconvenience for individuals, interrupting the charging process of critical vehicles, such as electric ambulances, can have life-threatening consequences. Brokenwire has immediate implications for many of the 12 million battery EVs estimated to be on the roads worldwide — and profound effects on the new wave of electrification for vehicle fleets, both for private enterprise and for crucial public services.”The attack’s modus operandi is not revealed to prevent active exploitation in the wild. In the meantime, concerned stakeholders are working on appropriate countermeasures. The Combined Charging System is a type of connector used for rapid charging electric vehicles. This technology is targeted by Brokenwire by transmitting a malicious electromagnetic signal, causing the charging process to be unexpectedly stopped.The researchers further added that the attack can be launched with an assorted mix of off-the-shelf radio components. These components include software-defined radio, power amplifiers, and a dipole antenna, additionally, it can be executed in person from a nearby location or by deploying a device at a target site and controlling it remotely.
On a concluding note, the researchers said, “The use of PLC [power-line communications] for charging communication is a serious design flaw that leaves millions of vehicles, some of which belong to critical infrastructure, vulnerable.”
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