physical security

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Traffic Monitoring Tech Vulnerable To Hacking

Connected cars aren’t the only transportation innovation that’s coming down the pike (pun intended). As we’ve noted before: smart roads and smart infrastructure promise even more transformative changes than – say – having Siri read  your text messages to you through your stereo system. The applications of smart road and connected infrastructure are almost limitless. But at this early stage (mostly proof of concept), much of the light and heat around smart roads is around applications of remote sensors at the roadside, or embedded in the road surface to identify problems like icy roads, the presence of liquids, traffic density, vehicle and pedestrian detection and more. For a nice overview of some sensor applications, check out this video from Liebelium. But that doesn’t mean that attacks against smart infrastructure are problems for the future. The security researcher Cesar Cerrudo points out in a blog post over at IOActive.com that many […]

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Is Analog The Answer To Cyber Terrorism?

Ralph Langner is one of the foremost experts on the security of critical infrastructure that we have. So, generally, when Ralph says something – whether its about Stuxnet, or cyberwar or the security of nuclear power plants – folks listen. And these days, Ralph is wondering, out loud, whether our reliance on digital systems to manage critical infrastructure has gone too far. The answer, he suggests, may be to go “back to the future,” as it were: reintroducing analog systems into the control process chain as a backstop for cyber attacks. Case in point: the Department of Homeland Security’s ICS-CERT warned on Friday that firmware for Siemens SIMATIC S7-1500 CPUs (Central Processing Units) contain nine vulnerabilities that could enable attacks such as cross site request forgery, cross site scripting and URL redirection. (Siemens has issued a firmware update that patches the holes.) Langner is among the world’s foremost experts on […]

Update – Virtual Vandalism: Firm Warns Of Connected Home Security Holes

[This story was updated to include response from Belkin describing its response to the vulnerabilities identified by IOActive, including firmware updates. – PFR Feb 19, 2014] A researcher with the respected security firm IOActive says that he has found a number of serious security holes in home automation products from the firm Belkin that could allow remote attackers to use Belkin’s WeMo devices to virtually vandalize connected homes or as a stepping stone to other computers connected on a home network. In a statement released on Tuesday, IOActive researcher Mike Davis said that his research into Belkin’s WeMo technology found the “devices expose users to several potentially costly threats, from home fires with possible tragic consequences down to the simple waste of electricity.” IOActive provided information on Davis’s research to the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), which issued an advisory on the WeMo issues on Tuesday.  Belkin did not […]

Internet of Dings: Verizon Shelves Home Automation Service

The news this week that search giant Google completed its acquisition of smart-home device maker NEST prompting at least one news outlet to proclaim that the “New Internet of Things Wave” has been set in motion. (Umm…new?) But there’s a cautionary note in the business headlines: news that Verizon shuttered its Verizon Home Monitoring service. Matt Hamblen over at Computerworld.com has the news and the confirmation from Verizon, which launched in 2012 and was designed to sink that company’s hooks deeper into wired homes. Verizon provided a common hardware platform for home automation and entertainment systems to plug into and talk to each other. Users could manage devices remotely from their computer, mobile device or from their televisions using FiOS TV. It comprised video surveillance, environmental control and physical security. In commercials, Verizon trumpeted it as the “ultimate 21st century green energy home control.” Verizon charged users $10 a month […]