Experts: ‘Infinite’ Attack Surface of IoT Demands New Approach

If the growth of the Internet of Things has been a curiosity to enterprises and the IT security industry that serves them, it won’t stay that way for long, experts warned at a gathering in San Francisco. The rapid adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technology is poised to transform the IT industry, vastly expanding the opportunities for cyber attacks against a much wider range of targets: from implantable medical devices to manufacturing plants to automobiles, according to participants in a panel discussion on “Shaping The Internet of Things” at The Amphion Forum event in San Francisco. While media attention on The Internet of Things has focused on products like the Nest Thermostat and connected automobiles, the IoT encompasses an almost limitless population of devices – many far more mundane, said Ralph Broom a Principal Engineer at the firm Noblis, and one of three panel members. The Internet of Things, in […]

Veracode Talking Code

BlueTooth on Your Defibrillator? The Case Against Wi-Fi

As more and more devices become networked, the use cases for wireless communications protocols like Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communications) multiply. Hardly a week goes by where some company figures out a way to pair wireless communications with some inanimate object or another. (Bluetooth bike locks, anyone?) But what happens when those wireless devices run critical infrastructure or life-saving technology like implanted medical devices? We learned earlier this week that no less than Dick Cheney was concerned enough about wireless attacks on his implanted defibrillator that he had the wireless management features of the device disabled, for fear they could be used in an assassination attempt. Security experts, like Dr. Kevin Fu at The University of Michigan,  doubtful that such an attack was realistic, also refused to rule it out entirely. Given the many, proven tools and strategies for hacking wireless communications like Bluetooth, you might think that foregoing well […]

Microsoft Tests Glass Competitor. But Do Wearables Threaten Privacy, Social Norms?

Forbes has a really interesting article a couple of days back that posited the huge dislocations caused by wearable technology – including front-on challenges to social norms that are thousands of years in the making and contemporary notions of privacy. The applications for wearable technology like Google Glass are too numerous to mention. Just a few include “heads up” displays for surgeons in the operating room. Teachers (or their students) could benefit from having notes displayed in their field of vision, rather than having to resort to printed notes or the (dreaded) Powerpoint slide. But the devil is in the details of the wearable technology, Forbes argues. Unlike external devices – pagers, mobile phones, smart phones – wearable tech is more intimately connected to ourselves: in constant contact with our bodies and notifying us with vibrations and sounds in ways that it may be difficult to ignore, Forbes argues. Indelicately implemented, […]


Printable Smart Labels Warn When The Milk’s Gone Bad

What’s been called “The Internet of Things” or “The Internet of Everything” is a revolution in computing that has seen the population of Internet connected “stuff” skyrocket. By 2020, there will be an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet (or whatever its called then). Today, the list of IP-enabled stuff is already long: phones, automobiles, household appliances, clothing. But, under the hood, a lot of these devices really aren’t much different from the PCs that grace our desks. They have hard drives, CPUs, memory, input devices, and so on. Most are still assembled in factories by humans and machines. This can be done cheaply and, in some cases, automated. But it’s still a labor-intensive and expensive process. But what if you could just “print” working electronics like, say, The New York Times prints its daily newspaper (at least for now!)?   That would change everything. For one thing: […]

Google Autonomous Vehicle

When Autonomous Vehicles Crash, Is The Software Liable?

Many industries are wrestling with the blinding speed of technologic change. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are transforming the way employees work and customers interact with a business. And that doesn’t even take into account the (coming) revolution of smart devices and remote sensors that is referred to as The Internet of Things. But few industries are wrestling as hard with the implications of that change as the Insurance industry, which must assess the long-term impact of huge forces like technology innovation or, say, climate change on risk. One example: how will the advent of autonomous vehicles or even computer augmented driving change the auto insurance business? And, when two computer-guided cars crash, who (or what) is liable? Those were some of the questions posed to attendees at this week’s Emerging Technology (or EmTech) Conference at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The speaker, Joe Coray, is the Vice […]