Tencent security team uses Raspberry Pi to break electric vehicle charging pile payment system

At the recent BlackHat Asia Asia Black Hat Conference, Tencent’s security team Tencent Blade Team demonstrated how to use Raspberry Pi to attack the “non-inductive payment” vulnerability of electric vehicle DC charging piles. The attacker can also change the charging voltage and current. This behavior has the potential to damage the electric vehicle.

Tencent Blade Team was established by Tencent Security Platform Department, focusing on security research in cutting-edge technology fields such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, mobile Internet, cloud virtualization, blockchain, etc. More than 200 security breaches have been reported by internationally renowned companies.

Tencent Blade Team said: “The construction of charging stations is accelerating all over the world, but there is little research on the safety of electric vehicle infrastructure.”

Wu Huiyu (transliteration) and Li Yuxiang researchers used a security testing tool called “XCharger” to attack five rented electric vehicles of different models, proving that the tool can capture, modify, replay and blur between charging piles communication packets. XCharger uses a Raspberry Pi or STM 32 microcontroller that can be plugged into a man-in-the-middle attack between the charging station and the electric vehicle.

In recent years, charging stations are moving in the direction of automatic payment (non-inductive payment). Some car companies use their own authentication and communication protocols, while others rely on insecure VIN numbers that can be seen in clear text (literally) through the car windshield.

To hack into these systems, the Tencent team used CANtools software, which can observe and interpret messages sent on the controller area network (CAN bus) to connect devices in the car. CANtools allows researchers to read messages generated during charging, write their own messages, and bypass authentication for swiping (free charging).

In another presentation, Kartheek Lade, an intern at Indian security consultancy Amynasec Labs, hacked a car with messages sent by encrypted communications service Telegram and took control of it over the internet.

Lade uses the software tool CANalyse to analyze log files for unique datasets. The tool can be connected to simple attacker interfaces such as Telegram, and can be installed in a Raspberry Pi to leverage the vehicle to control certain functions.

Lade demonstrated an attack that controlled certain functions of the vehicle via Telegram messages. Lade said he could “brick” the car by sending commands this way. He also warned others not to attempt the attack on their own without the necessary permission.

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