In-brief: Researchers in Japan have developed a way to uniquely identify Internet of Things devices: creating a “fingerprint” based on subtle variations in chip composition, according to a report in IEEE Spectrum.
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Intel: New Approach Needed to Secure Connected Health Devices
In-brief: connected medical devices pose a number of risks to patients, including the threat of “targeted killings,” according to a report by Intel Security. The fix: better application design and more public-private sector cooperation.
Update: Another IPMI Mishap? Researcher Claims Supermicro Devices Vulnerable
There’s more bad news for companies that rely on the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) to manage servers and other hardware in their IT environments. Specifically: researcher Zachary Wikholm over at Cari.net has published evidence of what he says is a head-slapping vulnerability affecting devices that use IPMI Base Management Controllers (BMCs) made by the firm SuperMicro. According to Wikholm, servers equipped with Supermicro BMCs store a password file, PSBlock, in plain text and – making matters worse- leave it open to the world on port 49152. “You can quite literally download the BMC password file from any UPnP enabled Supermicro motherboard running IPMI on a public interface,” he wrote. Baseboard Management Controllers (BMCs) are small, embedded systems attached to a system’s motherboard that manage IPMI communications. Wikholm says that Supermicro has fixed the problem in the latest version of its IPMI firmware. However, companies are often reluctant to flash […]
Blade Runner Redux: Do Embedded Systems Need A Time To Die?
The plot of the 1982 film Blade Runner (loosely based on the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick) turns on the question of what makes us ‘human.’ Is it memories? Pain? Our ability to feel empathy? Or is it merely the foreknowledge of our own certain demise? In that movie, a group of rebellious, human-like androids – or “replicants” – return to a ruined Earth to seek out their maker. Their objective: find a way to disable an programmed ‘end of life’ in each of them. In essence: the replicants want to become immortal. It’s a cool idea. And the replicants – pre-loaded with fake memories and histories – pose an interesting philosophical question about what it is that makes us humans. Our artificial intelligence isn’t quite to the ‘replicant’ level yet (the fictional tale takes place in 2019, so we have time). But some […]
How Connected Consumer Devices Fail The Security Test
The Internet of Things leverages the same, basic infrastructure as the original Internet – making use of protocols like TCP/IP, HTTP, Telnet and FTP. But the devices look and act very differently from traditional PCs, desktops and servers. Many IoT devices run embedded operating systems or variants of the open source Linux OS. And many are low-power and many are single function: designed to simply listen and observe their environment, then report that data to a central (cloud based repository). But IoT devices are still susceptible to hacking and other malicious attacks, including brute force attacks to crack user names and passwords, injection attacks, man in the middle attacks and other types of spoofing. Despite almost 20 years experience dealing with such threats in the context of PCs and traditional enterprise networks, however, too many connected devices that are sold to consumers lack even basic protections against such threats. […]