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US DOE awards EV cybersecurity grant to OnBoard Security and Virginia Tech

OnBoard Security will assess the security of charging infrastructure

OnBoard Security, an industry leader in automotive cyber security solutions, will be collaborating with Virginia Tech on a US Department of Energy (DOE) grant for electric vehicle charging infrastructure cybersecurity.

OnBoard Security will be participating in more than a dozen research tasks to “support advanced vehicle technologies that can enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, and enhance US economic growth.”

The EV market is forecast to grow significantly over the next decade, bringing new attack vectors for hackers. OnBoard Security will be leading the team’s threat modelling and vulnerability assessment tasks on battery EVs (BEVs) and EV supply equipment (EVSE).

OnBoard Security will also create a formally verified firmware update procedure for the EVSE using shared cryptographic keys between the BEV and EVSE.

Finally, the researchers at OnBoard Security will conduct a privacy impact assessment of EVSE/BEV communication to determine if the data being collected, transmitted and stored for billing or charging purposes are jeopardising the users’ or EVSE privacy, then design and implement a privacy-preserving communication protocol to provide recommendation to standardisation bodies.

Researchers from Virginia Tech and equipment manufacturers will be assisting these efforts.

OnBoard Security will also be assisting Virginia Tech and other university partners in full scale system testing of converters and battery management systems (BMS) to resist cyber-physical attacks and devising device fingerprinting methodologies for conductive and inductive chargers.

“The electric vehicles ecosystem is potentially vulnerable to attacks via the electric vehicles, the charging stations or the grid itself. Attacks on EV/EVSE could lead to stolen personal and financial information or vehicle damage,” explained senior director of research at OnBoard Security Dr Jonathan Petit. “This DoE grant will allow my research team, along with experts from Virginia Tech and other partners, to evaluate these attack vectors and recommend solutions.”

“As we look to develop solutions that will mitigate or eliminate threats associated with electric vehicles and charging stations, this DoE grant will bring together the expertise of academic and industry researchers, car manufacturers and utility operators to ensure the reliability of electric vehicle transportation in the future,” said assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and member of the Hume Centre for National Security and Technology at Virginia Tech Ryan Gerdes.

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