Electric Vehicle Chargers Hacked to Show Porn

  • Owners of electric vehicles in Isle of Wight, UK, were shocked today after public charge points were hacked to display pornography.

    Isle of Wight Council has three charge points in Quay Road, Ryde, Cross Street, Cowes and Moa Place, Freshwater.

    While service screens at the council’s car parks were supposed to display its website, hackers changed a number of them to show explicit images.

    The incident was first reported by the Isle of Wight County Press after it was alerted by its readers.

    Charge points affected were part of the ChargePoint Genie network, although they were transferred to the GeniePoint network.

    Speaking on the issue, a council spokesman said: “We are saddened to learn that a third-party web address displayed on our electric vehicle (EV) signage appears to have been hacked.

    “A council officer will be visiting the EV signage today and tomorrow to ensure the third-party web address is covered up.

    “The council would like to apologize to anyone that may have found the inappropriate web content, and for any inconvenience from chargepoints out of action.”

    The spokesman added that the council recognized the “unreliability” of some of the charge points in its car points, and they would be replaced “over the coming months.”

    Brad LaPorte, Gartner veteran and cybersecurity expert, remarked that ‘juice jacking’ is a long-standing technique used by hackers: “As ‘cheeky’ as this situation is – it is no laughing matter. Methods of what is commonly called ‘juice jacking’ have been a long-standing way that cyber-criminals hijack your power supply channel and use it for their own naughty deeds. We have seen it with mobile devices through USBs over the years and with the increasing ease that it takes to hack a vehicle charging station.

    “Now, this is another way that criminals can gain control over a critical asset. Implications could lead to travelers being stranded, having the integrity of their vehicles being compromised and/or having their vehicle and personal data held for ransom; amongst many other damaging results.”