The possibility of making bigger money could mean hackers will turn more attention to large EV fleet charging centers, Levy said.
“Is a consumer going to pay ransomware to release their charging station at home? I don’t think so,” he said. “But if you have a fleet, or if this is your business, then you face a bigger risk.
“Think about a delivery company — and just before Christmas, your entire fleet is shut down. How disruptive would that be?”
Because charging stations are connected to local electrical grids, hackers also could attempt to use them as an entry point into the grid. In that case, individual charging station vulnerabilities could be considered a national security risk, Levy said.
“You see huge investments in the U.S. around charging capabilities,” he noted. “We think governments should also make sure they are securing their grids, securing their vehicles and securing their infrastructure as part of that.”
In Canada, the 2022 federal budget proposes to provide $400 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Natural Resources Canada to fund ZEV charging infrastructure in suburban and remote communities through the Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP).
And, the Canadian Infrastructure Bank will spend $500 million over five years to build infrastructure to support the 1,500 charging stations that the government has promised to build throughout Canada.
Levy said it will be important for automakers and charging providers to establish secure protocols and secure connections between the chargers and the vehicles.
“Vehicles are connected, and the biggest risks OEMs have now are remote hacks,” he said. “Someone can sit in North Korea or China or Russia and hack vehicles, and not just single vehicles. They can go after whole fleets.”