Supercharged Protection: Preventing EV Chargers Cyberattacks with LogRhythm

In today’s digital age, cyberattacks are becoming increasingly frequent and sophisticated, posing serious threats to both digital and physical infrastructures. Incidents like Stuxnet, which targeted power plants, have demonstrated the dangerous interrelationship between cyberattacks and physical damage. As the adoption of smart city technologies accelerates, the potential for cyberattacks on critical infrastructure grows significantly.

The Rising Threat to EV Charging Stations

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations are a critical component of smart city infrastructure and are becoming common in major cities worldwide. These stations, essential for the proliferation of electric vehicles, have become prime targets for cyberattacks due to their public accessibility and integration with the power grid. A compromised EV charging station can disrupt the power supply, gather sensitive data from vehicles, and cause widespread issues.

Understanding the Vulnerabilities

EV Charging Stations are vulnerable through their three primary charging methods: Conductive, Inductive, and Battery Swap. Conductive Charging, which involves directly connecting a cable to the vehicle, is the most susceptible to cyberattacks. Recently, significant vulnerabilities have been identified in the ABB Terra AC wallbox, specifically versions 1.6.5 for the UL32A model and 1.5.5 for the UL4080A model. These vulnerabilities, cataloged as CVE-2023-0863 and CVE-2023-0864, allow attackers to exploit the system via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), potentially taking control of the station to eavesdrop on communications or alter configurations.

Infographic of how EV Chargers can be exploited

Case Study: ROOTK1T Hacker Group

There are allegations that the hacker group R00TK1T has accessed the GO TO-U backend system, based on posts showing several screenshots depicting the backend systems of TNBX and TNB Electron EV chargers, which run on the platform. While no breach has been confirmed, these reports underscore the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard EV charging stations from potential threats.

Mitigation Strategies with LogRhythm

To counter these risks, it is crucial to implement timely patches and activate Security Event Notifications for “AttemptedReplayAttacks.”

LogRhythm provides a comprehensive solution to monitor and detect exploitation attempts. By leveraging LogRhythm’s capabilities, organizations can identify suspicious activities, such as BLE attacks, in real-time.

For instance, the following log entry indicates a detected BLE attack:
{
"SecurityEventNotification": {
"type": "AttemptedReplayAttacks",
"techInfo": "bleAttacks",
"timestamp": "2024-02-18T20:33:38.000Z"
}
}

LogRhythm Dashboard on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Attacks

Advanced Monitoring with LogRhythm

LogRhythm’s advanced monitoring tools help organizations understand the normal activity of their EV infrastructure, making it easier to detect anomalies. Suspicious activities, such as cleared security logs, invalid firmware signatures, or unexpected device startups, can signal potential cyber threats.

LogRhythm detecting BLE Attacks

LogRhythm’s dashboard offers a consolidated and holistic view of security across Electric Vehicle infrastructure, integrating data from OT, IoT, and IT systems to provide comprehensive monitoring and threat detection capabilities.

LogRhythm overview dashboard

Conclusion

As cyber threats continue to evolve, it is essential for organizations to protect all aspects of their infrastructure, including EV charging stations. These stations, though seemingly mundane, can have significant impacts if compromised. LogRhythm plays a crucial role in enhancing security visibility and ensuring the resilience of smart city infrastructure. By implementing robust monitoring and detection capabilities, organizations can safeguard their EV charging stations against cyberattacks, ensuring secure and reliable service for all users.