In brief: Google’s decision not to patch a security hole in versions of Android used by hundreds of millions of consumers is a bad omen for the Internet of Things and will likely push some Android users to alternative versions of the operating system.
As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) rages in Las Vegas this week, its tempting to look at the reports about connected devices and wonder when it is, exactly, that the tsunami of smart devices, wearable tech and intelligent appliances will finally wash over us. But it might be even more useful to wonder why – given all the hype- we haven’t been washed out to sea already by the IoT wave. A recent article in Adweek calls attention to one leading theory about why the IoT isn’t gaining traction with everyday consumers: consumer worries about privacy and the security of data. The Adweek article (and groovy infograph) make hay out of a case study by Affinnova, a marketing technology firm that was acquired by Nielsen. The study asked consumers to evaluate “more than 4 million product concept variations and identify the most desired products and functions.” The goal: insight into consumer preferences as well […]
I’m just slogging through all the articles I marked “to read” but never got around to during the relax-o-frenzy that is the holiday season. One of the better ones I’ve found comes from the Web site Techbitzz.com. On December 31, they ran a nice and succinct write up that addresses one of the most confusing nomenclature problems in the technology world today: the differences between “machine-to-machine” (or M2M) technology and the “Internet of Things” (or IoT). As the article notes, the tendency these days is to just conflate “M2M” and “IoT” – as if the latter is just a newer, cooler term for the former. But that’s not the case. In fact: the two terms refer to very different things. According to the article: “M2M can be defined in simple terms as, ‘Machines’ (can be a sensor, meter, valve etc) using network resources (can comprise of core telecom network, back-end […]
Wearable technology is a burgeoning category, and products like Google Glass and smart watches are just the beginning. As with mobile phones, on-board cameras are sure to be de rigueur. But, as this article over at The Verge notes, those cameras will present new challenges (for privacy) and new opportunities (for security). Specifically: cameras coupled with your body seem to create new kinds of opportunities to uniquely identify you. One example: gait biometrics. The Verge notes recent research published by Professor Shmuel Peleg and Yedid Hoshen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Those researchers created a way to identify first-person filmmakers based on the signature wobble of their cameras. The identity of the user can be determined “quite reliably from a few seconds of video,” the researchers write in their paper. [Interested in biometrics and wearables? Check out our article “Are Wearables the Future of Authentication?“] “The idea of distinguishing one person from […]
Researchers from the security firm BitDefender have found that it is possible to snoop on wireless communications sent between smart watches and Android devices to which they are paired. The researchers, led by Liviu Arsene, captured and analyzed raw traffic between the Nexus 4 Android device running Android L Developer Preview and the Samsung Gear Live smart watch. The traffic was captured on the Android device before it was transmitted to the associated smart watch using a baseband co-processor that it standard on most Android devices. According to BitDefender, the wireless traffic is secured using a six digit PIN code. That leaves the device vulnerable to computer-enabled “brute force” attacks that can try the million possible six digit codes in short order. BitDefender noted that the problem exposed wasn’t limited to smart watches. Using baseband co-processors on Android devices to handle encryption is “not a fool-proof security mechanism,” Arsene wrote. Attackers might also be […]