America's public and private electric vehicle charging stations are susceptible to cyberthreats because they don't meet the latest security standards.
Most of the hundreds of thousands of public and home chargers use older technology that leaves them vulnerable to security breaches, according to Jim Alfred, vice president of Canada's BlackBerry Technology Solutions.
That means these chargers are vulnerable to so-called man-in-the-middle attacks, where a hacker penetrates the digital communication used by an application to steal a login or financial data, experts told Automotive News.
Recent documented hacks of EV charging stations have been relatively low stakes. Hackers put pro-Ukraine messages disparaging Russian President Vladimir Putin on EV charger screens in Russia last year. On the Isle of Wight in England, hackers took over three charging stations to show pornography on the screens.
Concerns about the security of EV charging stations are rising as the U.S. builds out a charging infrastructure that accommodates the Biden administration's goal of EVs making up 50 percent of all cars and light trucks sold in the country by 2030. Already, there are more than 2 million EVs on U.S. roads, according to S&P Global Mobility registration data for the last decade.
Nicholas Abi-Samra, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, said the U.S. should have a national master plan and road map to make EV charging infrastructure more immune to cyberthreats. The patchwork system of state and municipal regulatory bodies with nonstandardized regulations and protocols make EV charging security more difficult.
"This plan should include strategies for public-private partnerships, funding, incentives and regulations that promote the deployment of secure EV charging infrastructure," Abi-Samra said.