Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2022

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Local Power Grids at Risk – An Experimental and Simulation-based Analysis of Attacks on Vehicle-To-Grid Communication

With electric vehicles (EV) becoming more and more prevalent throughout the world, their battery recharge creates additional loads in the power grids. Especially in local grids with a high share of households that own an EV, the additional power consumption can create stress on legacy power distribution systems that were originally not designed for these kinds of loads. The unaccounted peak consumption may therefore affect service quality, cause damage to sensitive equipment, cause power failures or even local blackouts. To avoid these, there are two options: exchanging grid components so that they match the higher loads or to use load management to control the charging power of the charge points in critical situations. Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology enables the efficient integration of EVs into power grids by providing a communication interface to control the energy transfer for the latter option. A key component for V2G services is the ISO/IEC 15118 communication standard for negotiation of optimal charging conditions and session handling between a vehicle and a charge point. This standard is further integrated into backend protocols connecting charge points to service providers. In this paper, we use dynamic simulations to determine if and under which conditions an attack on V2G communication could cause a local grid to collapse, describe attacks on V2G communications that can trigger such situations and demonstrate the feasibility of such attacks in an experimental security analysis of V2G communication. We show that load management is necessary to ensure stable grid operations without continual expansion and conclude that vulnerabilities in the V2G system allow adversaries to manipulate this process.

Maria Zhdanova
Fraunhofer SIT

Julian Urbansky
Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Anne Hagemeier
Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Daniel Zelle
Fraunhofer SIT

Isabelle Herrmann
Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Dorian Höffner
Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Paper (ACM DL)



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