December 26, 2018 at
Electric cars are starting to appear on the roads around the world, but as the trend is taking place, modern dangers follow. While home car chargers for electric cars can be quite convenient — provides flexibility, charge scheduling, data displays, and more — they can also introduce a new level of danger to users’ homes.
According to researchers from Kaspersky Lab, it was recently unveiled that EV chargers created by an unnamed major vendor might have critical vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are dangerous as they can be exploited by knowledgeable individuals, which might lead to a cyber attack on users’ home.
According to their findings, experts have concluded that a hacker might disrupt the charging process remotely, thus leaving the driver without an adequate range. Another possibility is to manipulate the charging so that the process would draw the maximum possible current. This has the potential to change the electrical system of the entire home.
Smart devices in danger
Smart chargers are a part of what is known as IoT, a vast collection of products and gadgets that have an internet connection. This includes things such as smart TVs, smart refrigerators, smart thermostats, and even entire smart homes. The main purpose of connecting all of these devices to the web and each other is to provide users with the highest level of convenience.
However, if a vulnerability is found and exploited, these devices may be misused in a way that can cause damage. Electric car chargers are not alone in this, and any device connected to the web is in the same danger. Due to the fact that all of these devices are connected to the same network, gaining access to any of them can allow cybercriminals to access all the others. This can lead to compromising users’ privacy and security.
The newly-discovered vulnerability has already been patched, however, it is better to assume that not every vulnerability will be secured before being exploited. Furthermore, a lot of IoT devices’ security relies on users’ ability to protect them, as well as their choices. However, this is where another issue emerges, as users are not always familiar with their responsibilities in this regard.
Protecting the “smart home”
To help protect users’ homes and devices, Kaspersky Labs provided advice regarding potential steps that can increase security. One such instruction is to regularly update smart devices. Anything, from smartphones, tablets, TVs, to smart refrigerators.
Another piece of advice would be to change the password for any smart device in users’ home. Default passwords are not safe, and they can be exploited, which may lead to the creation of botnets, invading privacy, or causing damage to connected devices. Finally, Kaspersky suggests that users isolate their smart home networks. This process may require cooperation with a router maker or a network expert. However, doing so may protect devices from the dangers of the internet that other devices such as computers are already familiar with.