Internet of Things

Farmers in the U.S. are turning to modified firmware from third parties to "jail break" tractors and other heavy equipment: allowing the equipment owners to diagnose problems and repair equipment without approval from the manufacturer.

Hobbled by DMCA, Farmers are jail breaking Tractors | Motherboard

In-brief: Hobbled by draconian copyright restrictions from manufacturers like John Deere that make it impossible to modify or repair equipment, farmers in the U.S. have turned to unofficial software produced in countries like Ukraine to maintain their equipment. 

Proposed legislation to prevent manufacturers from using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to prohibit independent repair and maintenance of products that run software is being sidelined by opposition from private firms like equipment maker John Deere, Motherboard reports. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

Right to Repair on the Ropes in Minnesota | Motherboard

In-brief: Proposed legislation to prevent manufacturers from denying owners and independent repair people to fix and maintain software-based products is being sidelined by opposition from private firms like equipment maker John Deere, Motherboard reports.

Consumer Reports said new standards will push better security and privacy protections for connected products.

Consumer Reports Publishes Draft Cyber Standard

In-brief: Consumer Reports released a draft standard for security digital devices, calling on manufacturers to secure their products and give consumers the right to repair them. 

Reports by security researchers say that hundreds of thousands of customers of CloudPets had their information exposed online in an unsecured customer database.

Updated: The CloudPets Incident is Everything That’s Wrong with Consumer Internet of Things

In-brief: the apparent leak of data on owners of CloudPets connected stuffed animals underscores lax security and privacy practices that are common among connected products firms. (Updated with comment from Troy Hunt. PFR 2/28/2017.)

AT&T said it saw a spike in scans for vulnerable IoT devices in the months leading up to the Mirai botnet attacks. (Image courtesy of AT&T)

AT&T: Mirai’s Rise Seen in IoT Vulnerability Scans

In brief: In a new report, Internet provider AT&T said that scans for vulnerable IoT devices spiked in the first half of 2016, months before the Mirai botnet, made up largely of IoT devices, launched denial of service attacks on DYN and other targets.