Brokenwire Exploit Could Disrupt Electric Vehicle Charging

Remote attackers might use the Brokenwire exploit to disrupt electric vehicle charging.

According to a new study from the University of Oxford and Armasuisse S+T, a mechanism for attacking a common charging system has been discovered, which might cause significant issues for electric vehicles. The “Brokenwire” strategy compels the automobile to cancel its charging session with the charger.

For years, industry analysts have been chronically underestimating the pace of the transition to electric vehicles. However, their predictions for 2030 were overly conservative at best. Research suggests that more than 16 million electric cars are on the road in the world, but these cars are not distributed evenly. Europe and China lead the way with 16% and 14% EV market share respectively, while the US is trailing behind at 4.5%.

The Brokenwire exploit impacts are more than an annoyance for people, according to the experts. Many electric ambulances, as well as the next wave of electrification for vehicle fleets in the commercial sector and key public services, are at risk of breaking down.

Additional information about the attack’s methodology has been withheld in order to avoid active exploitation in the wild while relevant parties seek to develop effective defenses.

A Combined Charging System is a sort of connection that is used to charge electric automobiles quickly. Brokenwire targets this technology by sending a malicious electromagnetic signal that causes the charging process to abruptly cease.

The attack can be mounted with a variety of off-the-shelf radio components, including software-defined radio, power amplifiers, and a dipole antenna, and it can be carried out in person from a nearby location or by deploying a device at a target site and controlling it remotely, according to the researchers.

The use of PLC [power-line communications] for charging communication is a significant design fault that exposes millions of cars, some of which are vital infrastructure,” the researchers concluded.