Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Security for both real and cyber worlds

05.02.2015

A combined cyber and physical security system will protect customers charging electric vehicles on smart electricity grids

As electricity grids become more sophisticated, grid administrators can collect instantaneous data on consumer and supplier behavior. The ‘smart grid’ then learns to improve the reliability, costs and sustainability of electricity distribution. However, smart grids present new security challenges, especially for mobile systems such as electric vehicles (EVs), which can be attacked both electronically and physically.


A new automatic security system can protect against both cyber and physical attacks when charging an electric vehicle.

© Jirsak/iStock/Thinkstock

Now, Jianying Zhou and Aldar Chan at the A*STAR Institute of Infocomm Research have developed the first automatic security system that protects EVs from combined cyber–physical attacks [1].

“Most existing authentication systems merely apply cybersecurity schemes directly to the smart grid, leaving gaps in the protection,” explains Zhou. “The problem is especially serious for EVs, because the charging infrastructure is publicly open. Anyone could plug in an EV, even if it is stolen.”

A particular danger is the so-called substitution attack, whereby a criminal can ‘digitally imitate’ an EV, plugging in their own device while the EV owner pays for the electricity. Chan and Zhou demonstrated a successful substitution attack on an existing EV charging station. “We plugged in kettles and hair dryers; it could be anything that draws current,” says Zhou.

After proving that this security loophole existed, the researchers worked to improve the classic ‘challenge-response’ protocol for online security. “Instead of using a single challenge — which is a random number used to test if a user really is who he claims to be — we used one challenge sent through the wireless cyber path and another challenge through a physical path or the charging cable,” says Zhou. “This ensures that the EV is connected physically to the right spot in the power grid, and that it is a real EV meeting existing EV standards.”

Perhaps inevitably, Chan and Zhou found they could not achieve physical authentication using software alone. They had to design a new onboard hardware mechanism that binds an EV to its digital identity. However, they discovered a way to embed the challenge number in one of the signaling lines of the charging cable, so that existing charging stations will not need to be modified.

The researchers believe that their new security system could protect other components in the power grid, such as relays and transformers, as well as cardless ATMs. “With more research we could devise systems to ensure that the person withdrawing cash actually has digital authorization,” says Zhou.

Reference

[1] Chan, A. C.-F. & Zhou, J. Cyber–physical device authentication for smart grid electric vehicle ecosystem. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications 32, 1509–1517 (2014).


Associated links
A*STAR article

A*STAR Research | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale
18.01.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

nachricht Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation
18.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Algorithmen und Wissenschaftliches Rechnen SCAI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>