Electric car chargers along one of Russia’s most important highways are all down on Monday after the Ukrainian company responsible for building the main components of the chargers used backdoor access to hack them, shut them down and schedule anti-Putin/pro-Ukrainian programs. messages to scroll across their screens.
The outage affects chargers along the M11 highway, which connects Moscow to Saint Petersburg. The Russian energy company Rossetti confirmed the hack in a post from the company’s Facebook. It’s a pretty ingenious move:
The charging stations installed on the M-11 route were purchased in 2020 according to the results of an open purchase procedure. The supplier was given by LLC “Gzhelprom” (Russia). It was later discovered that the main components (including A. the controller) are actually produced by the company Autoenterprise (Ukraine), and the Russian supplier produced an open assembly.
The manufacturer left a “marketing” in the controller, which gave it the possibility of having hidden access to the internet. According to our information, data controllers are widely used on electric charging stations exported from Ukraine to Europe.
During all this time, the charging stations were in isolated functional test. Given the circumstances, the best software options for these devices were considered. Soon they will be “in demand” and back to work.
AutoEnterprise, for its part, repost this video to his Facebook page pretty much admitting chicanery. The video shows one of the disabled chargers displaying messages such as “Putin is an asshole” and “Glory to Ukraine”. Glory to the heroes” and goes viral on social networks.
It’s great for a little anti-stress laughter, but only 0.5% of cars in Russia are electric vehicles – that’s just 13,000 cars in a national fleet of 45 million, according to SP Global. I can’t imagine this hack will do much to advance Ukraine’s defense, but every little bit counts.