Report: EV charger vulnerabilities might leave them open to hackers

EV charging stations might become a target for hackers, according to a recent Automotive News report.

Software vulnerabilities can leave charging stations open to hacking, according to the report. One example the report occurred earlier this year on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. Three charging stations’ screens were hacked to show a pornographic website, according to a BBC News report.

As the report seems to claim, one of the most obvious targets for hackers might be fleets, which they could potentially disable by disrupting nightly charging for delivery vehicles.

Blink Level 2 charging station at Firestone service center

Blink Level 2 charging station at Firestone service center

Yoah Levy, CEO of cybersecurity firm Upstream Security, said in an interview with Automotive News that hackers hold chargers for ransom by shutting them down, and then reactivating them once money has changed hands.

We should caution that, it seems, most of the sources cited in this piece are cybersecurity business figures like Levy, who are in a position to profit from a sense of alarm over EV charger hacks.

The cybersecurity industry has been sounding this alarm for some time. In 2018, the cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab claimed that connected home chargers could potentially bring vulnerabilities to owners’ connected home setups. A 2021 TechCrunch report highlighted other security companies’ claims of vulnerabilities in home-charging hardware.

Porsche Taycan charging

Porsche Taycan charging

Expanding beyond charging, since 2014 Tesla has challenged hackers to find vulnerabilities in its vehicle software. A group of Chinese white-hat hackers did indeed find vulnerabilities in 2016.

Two years later, a Minnesota thief figured out how to take a Tesla for a joyride not with an actual software hack, but a vulnerability with smartphones and PINs.

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