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CHIPS Articles: Electric Vehicle Charger Cybersecurity

Electric Vehicle Charger Cybersecurity
By CHIPS Magazine - August 16, 2019
Vehicles of the future will be driver-less robotic systems of embedded sensors and computers connected to GPS, multiple data warehouses, public safety networks, and more. They will be data-driven, highly automated with smart technology, featuring modern design and amenities only dreamed of today.

As you can imagine, these new technologies will be subject to cyber-attacks unless design flaws are discovered and remediated.

Today electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular among the cost, energy and environmentally conscious. To meet the growing demand, charging stations have popped up outside office buildings, hotels, and supermarkets in several countries. However, are they cyber-secure?

Companies specializing in the cybersecurity of information technology have discovered vulnerabilities in firmware in certain recharging systems. Firmware is the low-level control for a device's specific hardware. Firmware can either provide a standardized operating environment for a device's more complex software, or, for less complex devices, act as the device's complete operating system, performing all control, monitoring and data manipulation functions.

Serious flaws in electric vehicle chargers could cause personal injury, traffic disasters and impact public safety.

To prevent such harmful events from occurring, the National Institute of Standards and Technology will host a host a one-day meeting focusing on current federal research regarding the cybersecurity of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 from 8:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) in Rockville, Maryland.

EVSE is a component in an infrastructure that supplies electric energy for recharging plug-in electric vehicles—including electric cars, neighborhood electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

The goal of the briefing is to examine challenges associated with cyber-physical protection of electric vehicle technologies, and determine where further research may be necessary. The session will include briefings from federally funded research laboratories, academic institutions, and automotive and energy industry associations.

The event is a forum for other federal agencies to provide insights on their research priorities and areas of focus related to securing the electric vehicle-charging infrastructure. This will help determine where coordination with existing and future efforts will be beneficial. The intent is formulation of areas of research for cross-agency coordination and cooperation partnerships.

The briefing is open to the public, but registration is required to attend. Registration will close Sept. 6, 2019. All attendees must be pre-registered to gain entry to the NCCoE campus. Attendees must wear their conference badge at all times while on the campus. There is no on-site registration for meetings held at the NCCoE.

Register to attend the meeting at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE), 9700 Great Seneca Hwy, Rockville, MD 20850

Registration Contact: karen.startsman@nist.gov or (301) 975-6602

Technical Contact: suzanne.lightman@nist.gov or (301) 975-6442

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