Post Tagged with: "hardware"

Vint Cerf: CS Changes Needed To Address IoT Security, Privacy

April 2, 2014 16:140 comments
Cerf said that the advent of the Internet of Things poses a real challenge to the field of computer science. Namely: how to secure IoT devices. (Photo courtesy of Google.)

The Internet of Things has tremendous potential but also poses a tremendous risk if the underlying security of Internet of Things devices is not taken into account, according to Vint Cerf, Google’s Internet Evangelist. Cerf, speaking in a public Google Hangout on Wednesday, said that he’s tremendously excited about the possibilities of an Internet of billions of connected objects, but said that securing the data stored on those devices and exchanged between them represents a challenge to the field of computer science – and one that the nation’s universities need to start addressing. “I’m very excited,” Cerf said, in response to a question from host Leo Laporte. He cited the Philips HUE lightbulb as an example of a cool IoT application. “So you’re going to be able to manage quite a wide range of appliances at home , at work and in your car. Eventually, that will include things you’re […]

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Cisco To Invest $1B Building Secure Cloud For Internet Of Things

March 25, 2014 18:350 comments
Cisco says its Intercloud service will add scale and security to IoT applications. (Image courtesy of Cisco.)

Cisco Systems announced that it will invest more than $1 billion building what it calls an “Intercloud” – a network of cloud platforms that will support a variety of new business applications, including those supporting connected devices that are part of the Internet of Things. The company said on Monday that the new initiative will greatly expand its cloud business over the next two years and provide APIs (application program interfaces) that will allow application developers to rapidly create new products suitable for use in the enterprise or by resellers and service providers. A range of Cisco’s existing partners have committed to deliver products or services for Cisco’s Intercloud Cloud Services including the Australian firm Telstra, Allstream, a Canadian communications provider and Ingram Micro Inc.a major technology wholesaler. Services provider SunGard Availability Services and Integralis have signed on, as has the IT consulting firm Wipro Ltd. “Together, we have the […]

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Linux IoT Worm Still Alive And Mining Virtual Coins

March 20, 2014 16:180 comments
Linux IoT Worm Still Alive And Mining Virtual Coins

A few months ago we wrote about a new Internet worm notable because it spread between devices running the Linux operating systems, and because it had the ability to infect a range of non-PC devices including set top boxes. Symantec was quick to suggest that the worm, Linux.Darlloz, was the first “Internet of Things” malware. Now, three months later, Symantec is updating the story: noting that Darlloz is still out there, and seems to have  been put to use mining for virtual currencies. Writing on Symantec’s blog on Thursday, analyst Karou Hayashi said that researchers there discovered a new variant of Darlloz in January that included code changes and improvements from the version discovered at the end of 2013. Darlloz is versatile: it can run on devices using a variety of architectures, including the common Intel x86, but also hardware running the ARM, MIPS and PowerPC architectures. Those are more common […]

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Is Analog The Answer To Cyber Terrorism?

March 17, 2014 09:405 comments
Ralph Langner, an expert on the security of industrial control systems, suggests that the critical infrastructure sector might consider the use of analogue systems as a backstop to cyber attacks on ICS software. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress).

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 […]

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Is Refrigerator Spam Really In Our Future?

March 12, 2014 21:010 comments
Is Refrigerator Spam Really In Our Future?

I came across an interesting post over on Wearable World News today titled “The Danger of Smart Spam In the Internet of Things.” The article, by Jessica Groopman, ran yesterday and provides a kind of conceptual overview of the security and IoT space. I think Goodman gets it mostly right: she talks about the proliferation of device types and platforms that will (or already does) characterize the Internet of Things. With hundreds of billions (compared with hundreds of millions) of Internet connected endpoints, cyber criminals, hacktivists and other bad actors have an even greater ability to create armies of compromised endpoints and harness their collective power in attacks. Goodman also gets it right when she notes that many “smart” devices run commodity operating systems like Linux and don’t require lots of special effort to reverse engineer. Finally, IoT devices frequently are low power and embedded systems that lack the processing […]

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Google Readies SDK For Wearable Tech

March 10, 2014 11:070 comments
Google Readies SDK For Wearable Tech

Google will soon release a software development kit (SDK) for adapting its Android mobile operating system to wearable technology such as smart watches, according to statements by Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome and Apps.   Pichai was speaking over the weekend at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. He said that the SDK for wearables will be available sometime in the next two weeks and is intended to help flesh out the company’s vision for how wearable technology should work. The news was first reported here by The Guardian. Wearables are just another “platform” on which small, powerful sensors will be deployed, he said. “Sensors can be small and powerful, and gather a lot of information that can be useful for users. We want to build the right APIs for this world of sensors,” he is quoted saying. [Read more Security Ledger coverage […]

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SOHOwned: 300K Home Routers Hacked

March 4, 2014 11:270 comments
SOHOwned: 300K Home Routers Hacked

A string of reports in recent weeks has focused a spotlight on rising attacks against an often-overlooked piece of equipment that can be found in almost every home and business: the wireless router. Just this week, the security firm Team Cymru published a report (PDF) describing what it claims is a widespread compromise of small office and home office (SOHO) wireless routers that was linked to cyber criminal campaigns targeting online banking customers. Cymru claims to have identified over 300,000 SOHO devices (mostly in Asia and Europe) that were compromised. According to the report, the compromises first came to light in January, after Team Cymru analysts noticed a pattern of SOHO routers with overwritten DNS settings in central Europe. The affected devices are from a range of manufacturers, including well-known brands like D-Link, Micronet, Tenda and TP-Link. The devices were vulnerable to a number of attacks, including authentication bypass and cross-site […]

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Vulnerabilities Lurking Far And Wide In IoT Ecosystem

February 26, 2014 17:340 comments
Builditsecure.ly is a site to help guide smart device developers in secure design principles.

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to revolutionize the way people live and work. But while the media’s attention is focused on high-profile Internet of Things firms like NEST, the smart-home products vendor that Google acquired for more than $3 billion last month, much of the innovation in IoT – at least in the consumer market – is a bottom-up, grass roots phenomenon. Quietly, the combination of ready-made components, point and click development environments and cloud based back end management tools has enabled an army of (mostly) novice developers to assemble novel, connected products for a public enraptured with the idea of using their mobile devices to control something — anything. At the same time, crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have created a platform for products to get funded and distributed to hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of customers – once a monumental task.  That’s great for the […]

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

February 18, 2014 11:351 comment
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 […]

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Internet of Dings: Verizon Shelves Home Automation Service

February 13, 2014 15:17Comments Off
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 […]

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