EV charging stations are prone to cyber attacks ‘like other tech applications’: Government to Parliament

New Delhi: The Central Government has informed the Parliament that charging stations for electric vehicles are susceptible to cyber attacks like any other technological application, however, stakeholders feel that this is unlikely to affect consumer demand and confidence.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said in a statement, “Electric vehicle charging stations are also susceptible to cyber attacks and cyber security incidents like any other technological application.”; written answer to the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The minister said the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), which is mandated to track and monitor cyber security incidents in India, has received reports of vulnerabilities in products and applications related to electric vehicle charging stations and has issued alerts and Vulnerability notes have been issued. Suggesting remedial measures.

While the electric vehicle ecosystem in India is still at a nascent stage, countries with more developed ecosystems and infra have seen cyber attacks.

For example, last year reports emerged of some electric car charging stations outside Moscow hack and disable, While EV owners could not charge their vehicles, displays at the stations were changed to reflect criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

so were some chargers chopped off In the UK early last year to show users pornographic websites. UK is also working on a new Policy and technology infrastructure to reduce energy bills for users and enhance cyber security of the EV ecosystem.

In an email response to queries from ThePrint, Jio-BP, which provides the EV charging and battery swapping network in the country, said that like any other technology platform, the EV charging infrastructure is an integration of multiple technologies and there is a need for safety incidents. is hypersensitive.

“That being said, the standard protocols used in charging systems are robust enough that, especially with the OCPP 1.6-J security release, many vulnerabilities have been taken care of. Going forward, with the OCPP 2.0 release, it Will get stronger,” it said.

ocpp The Open Charge Point Protocol is published by the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) – a global consortium of public and private EV infrastructure leaders – and also includes security protocols.

Jio-BP, which has announced tie-ups with carmakers such as Citroën India, Mahindra and Mahindra, and MG Motors to set up charging infrastructure, said it has brought the best in class EV charging stations design and systems with maximum safety controls. Has deployed, and collaborated with trusted cyber security partners and deployed advanced security systems to detect and respond to various cyber threats.

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‘Government aware’

Meanwhile, Gadkari told Parliament that CERT-In issues alerts and advisories on latest cyber threats/vulnerabilities and countermeasures for computer and network security on a regular basis. He said that the government is aware of various cyber security threats and is actively taking steps to combat hacking.

“…CERT-In has now made it mandatory to report all incidents. It has prepared a Cyber ​​Crisis Management Plan to combat cyber attacks and cyber terrorism for implementation by all Ministries and Departments of the Central Government, State Governments and their organizations and critical sectors. Auditing organization to support and audit the implementation of information security best practices.

According to information reported and tracked by CERT-In, the number of cyber security incidents in India in 2018 stood at 2,08,456 as compared to 13,91,457 in the previous year.

“One challenge is that they (EV charging infra) are vulnerable to cyber attacks because they are connected. There have been cases in the past where the power grid has also faced some attacks… But I think the cyber security infrastructure in India has been talked about and covers everything. It is not just cars that are connected today, said Ashim Sharma, senior partner and group head, business performance improvement, at research firm NRI Consulting & Solutions India.

He said that as a security measure, manufacturers are planning to use multiple network layers to differentiate between things that are easily accessible in a vehicle, like an infotainment system, and things that are more protected, like powertrains, batteries, control units for security systems, and more. are also developing.

“Mobile phones are equally susceptible… We live in a connected universe. Even existing ICE vehicles now have connected vehicle features… The only challenge people face is, can it be controlled remotely? As far as their operation is concerned, OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are trying to keep it separate from the rest of the system. So even if an attack does happen, it doesn’t create a potentially unsafe situation for users.”

Sharma also pointed out that there are broadly two types of network connections at charging stations. The first is a cloud connecting network that will tell the user the location of charging stations and how many vehicles there are, so that the user can decide where to go to charge the vehicle, and the second is the communication between the charger and the battery. Battery Management System.

“There is no doubt about India’s EV growth story. Hence, with the increase in penetration of EVs, the demand for installation of charging stations in cities and highways is on the rise… The way the industry is evolving and making serious efforts to prevent any negative impact, We believe that this will not have any effect on the environment. demand and customer confidence,” Jio-BP said.

(Edited by Smriti Sinha)

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