ChargeX: Exploring State Switching Attack on Electric Vehicle Charging Systems

Ce Zhou,Qiben Yan,Zhiyuan Yu, Eshan Dixit,Ning Zhang,Huacheng Zeng, Alireza Safdari Ghanhdari


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Electric Vehicle (EV) has become one of the promising solutions to the ever-evolving environmental and energy crisis. The key to the wide adoption of EVs is a pervasive charging infrastructure, composed of both private/home chargers and public/commercial charging stations. The security of EV charging, however, has not been thoroughly investigated. This paper investigates the communication mechanisms between the chargers and EVs, and exposes the lack of protection on the authenticity in the SAE J1772 charging control protocol. To showcase our discoveries, we propose a new class of attacks, ChargeX, which aims to manipulate the charging states or charging rates of EV chargers with the goal of disrupting the charging schedules, causing a denial of service (DoS), or degrading the battery performance. ChargeX inserts a hardware attack circuit to strategically modify the charging control signals. We design and implement multiple attack systems, and evaluate the attacks on a public charging station and two home chargers using a simulated vehicle load in the lab environment. Extensive experiments on different types of chargers demonstrate the effectiveness and generalization of ChargeX. Specifically, we demonstrate that ChargeX can force the switching of an EV's charging state from ``stand by" to ``charging", even when the vehicle is not in the charging state. We further validate the attacks on a Tesla Model 3 vehicle to demonstrate the disruptive impacts of ChargeX. If deployed, ChargeX may significantly demolish people's trust in the EV charging infrastructure.
state switching attack,electric vehicle charging
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