Card readers at electric vehicle charging stations will weaken security, researchers sayZack Whittaker @zackwhittaker / 4 days
Electric vehicle charging stations could become one of the next big targets for fraudsters — thanks to proposals in several state that researchers say would weaken their security.
Most electric vehicle (EV) charging stations rely solely on a credit card linked to an app or through contactless payments with RFID-enabled credit cards or through a driver’s smartphone. Contactless payments are one of the most secure ways to pay, cutting out the credit card entirely and reducing the chance that a card will be cloned or have its data skimmed. For charging stations — often in the middle of nowhere and unmonitored — relying on contactless payments can reduce device tampering and credit card fraud.
But several states are proposing EV charging stations install magnetic stripe credit card readers, which the researchers are prone to abuse by fraudsters.
Arizona, California, Nevada, Vermont, and several states across New England are said to be considering installing credit card readers at publicly funded EV charging stations.
“While these proposals may be well-intentioned, they could expose drivers to new security risks while providing cyber criminals with easy access to attractive targets,” wrote security researchers April Wright and Jayson Street, in a paper out Monday by the Digital Citizens Alliance, a nonprofit consumer group.
Instead, they say EV charging stations and other point-of-sale machines should continue to rely on contactless payment methods and lawmakers “should engage with the security community to better understand fraud risks associated with credit card readers.”
“These proposals would effectively reverse the industry’s careful considerations regarding EV charger payment options,” said the researchers. Continue on techcrunch.com