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Safer wireless charging for connected electric vehicles

A novel intrusion detection system will help protect electric vehicles from cyberattacks while on the move.

Transport and Mobility icon Transport and Mobility
Security icon Security

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been growing in popularity, but rapid market growth may be hampered by their limited driving range when compared to petrol-powered cars. To combat consumer anxiety about driving range, researchers have been exploring the potential of charging vehicles while they’re on the road. Dynamic wireless charging (DWC) – a system that enables a power exchange between the EV and the electric grid while the vehicle is moving – can extend travel time without the use of large batteries or costly infrastructure. However, DWC can make EVs prey to cyberattacks such as spoofing. Scientists supported by the EU-funded CONCORDIA project have devised a novel system that can accurately detect spoofing attacks in EVs on the move. Their study was published in the journal ‘Array’. In a spoofing attack, attackers can, for example, falsify their real geographical position so as to make it appear that the vehicle is in another position. “This way an attacker can benefit against competing EVs, since the charging sequence is based on navigation decisions,” the authors explain in the paper. “Every EV has a table that contains the locations and the node identifiers of every other EV in its vicinity. The information about the location of every vehicle is extracted from their GPS system and sent to its neighbors […]. An attacker can create an illusion that he is present at a specific location by altering the location table of the GPS System or by generating and sending stronger fake location signals to its GPS receiver.”

An accurate spoofing detection system

To prevent this kind of spoofing attack, the research team developed an intrusion detection system (IDS) that is based on machine learning. The IDS can detect spoofing attacks with over 90 % accuracy with the help of a new metric called position verification using relative speed (PVRS). PVRS compares the distance between two communicating nodes observed by in-vehicle smart devices and their estimated distance using the relative speed value. This has succeeded in increasing detection accuracy by 6 %, which co-author Dr Leandros Maglaras of De Montfort University, Leicester, describes as “a very significant improvement” in a blog post published on the CONCORDIA project website. “One major contribution of our research to the literature is that our IDS uses a cross-layer approach, is based on passive V2V [vehicle-to-vehicle] communication only and can be applied to a set of EVs without any extra cost for infrastructure such as the deployment of Road Side Units,” Dr Maglaras adds. The team is currently building a consortium with academic and industrial partners in the area of EVs and automation to field-test their novel DWC and IDS mechanisms in real situations. This work will bring Europe one step closer to the CONCORDIA (Cyber security cOmpeteNce fOr Research anD Innovation) project’s vision of a secure digital society, economy and democracy. For more information, please see: CONCORDIA project website


CONCORDIA, electric vehicle, EV, spoofing, intrusion detection system, charging

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