Av-Test.org, an organization known for its thorough and independent testing of antivirus products, has found the usual suspects of lack of authentication and encryption — security lapses that are all too common in IoT devices — present in popular fitness bands. Av-Test.org, an organization known for its thorough and independent testing of antivirus products, has found the usual suspects of lack of authentication and encryption—security lapses that are all too common in IoT devices—are also present in popular fitness bands such as those from Fitbit and Acer. While the Jawbone UP24, Polar Loop and Sony Smartband Talk SWR32 scored the best security of those products tested. The researchers admit that counting steps or number of calories burned may not constitute a leak of PII, but acknowledge that in the future that may be different, with manipulation and/or data theft leading to more or less serious threats to user privacy and […]
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In-Brief: Software and the critical systems it powers are now central to our modern lives. But that very software is under growing threat and require new approaches to address those threats, says Symantec CTO Amit Mital. Successes in the arena of public health may be a guide.
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 […]
A survey of technology experts by the Pew Research Center and Elon University predicts that the Internet of Things will take off in the next decade despite serious concerns about the security of IoT devices and the data they hold. The IoT will gain wide adoption in the next decade, with the result that many aspects of day-to-day life will be transformed by a combination of inexpensive sensors, cloud based computing and data analytics. The report cites a number of likely innovations that will become commonplace by 2025 – from “smart” food products that can report when they are exhausted or spoiled, to smart roads and infrastructure to “subcutaneous sensors or chips that provide patients’ real-time vital signs to self-trackers and medical providers.” The Pew Center canvassed more than 1600 technology leaders and analysts about the Internet of Things and published the findings of the survey on Wednesday. The survey population included […]
A study of more than 500 mobile phone owners by researchers at Stanford University suggests that call records and other “metadata” stored on our phones can easily be used to infer a wealth of sensitive information about phone owners – laying bare details of private lives that many would prefer to keep hidden. The findings of the study were outlined in a blog post by researcher Patrick Mutchler on Wednesday. Researchers concluded that the data collected from the phones was very accurate in painting a picture of the phone’s owner, including their work, social interests and medical conditions. That was true even across a small sample population monitored for just a few weeks. In the study, researchers placed an application, MetaPhone, on Android smartphones belonging to 546 participants and collected a wide range of information including device logs, social network information and call records for analysis. In all, researchers collected calls […]