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Opinion: Security is the Achilles heel

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Kris Ardis, Maxim Integrated Products
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re: Opinion: Security is the Achilles heel
Kris Ardis, Maxim Integrated Products   8/20/2012 7:37:05 PM
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Hi David - appreciate the quote, and I certainly agree that "code security" is a key issue in making the Internet-of-Things work safely and reliably. I do want to point out that while ROM or OTP is an effective way to deter hackers from changing the behavior of a system, it may be too limiting for complex applications. In these cases, strong cryptographic authentication of firmware and firmware downloads can help to safeguard the system that relies on reprogrammable flash (or similar) for its code store.

jmcleod951
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re: Opinion: Security is the Achilles heel
jmcleod951   8/22/2012 7:01:31 PM
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Hi Kris, I invite everyone who found David's article interesting to view the DAC Panel "Is Lifecare the Next Killer App?" in which you participated on YouTube (http://tiny.cc/grggjw). It will provide a better understanding of the huge potential that machine-to-machine interaction, cloud computing, and Internet-or-Things represent.

WKetel
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re: Opinion: Security is the Achilles heel
WKetel   8/25/2012 1:21:52 AM
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Interesting article indeed. But is making my toaster subject to a hackers attack worth whatever nebulous advantage is to be gained? I am aware of the theory that smart appliances can be programmed to run when power is the cheapest, but we can also do that with a timer and published rate data. My point is that the internet of things will primarily benefit those who sell the internet connection part of the thing. Most of the benefits can be had in other manners, and almost all of them are more secure. Ask yourself this: "do you want some hacker controlling your toaster?"

RWatkins
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re: Opinion: Security is the Achilles heel
RWatkins   8/26/2012 12:39:16 AM
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Is this barking article up the wrong tree? If it is a toaster or set-top box, do I WANT it to be capable of erasing itself? For such mundane applications, such heavy-handed approaches cost warranty dollars and customer confidence. The REAL issues with putting everything on on the web are: 1. Can someone monitor the web and learn too much about a target of interest? This might include such things as whether one is home (making home a burglary target), and gathering data on any projects being worked on by a business that uses web-based but inadequately secure storage services (most of them). 2. Can someone intentionally or unintentionally (generally the former) vandalize property and equipment that they do not own (eg. Stuxnet)? The biggest issue facing too many engineers and companies right now is, "It can be done, and it can be sold, but SHOULD if be done?"

przem
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re: Opinion: Security is the Achilles heel
przem   8/26/2012 2:50:40 AM
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It is possible to do too much security too. If we require toasters to use OTP and/or cryptographically signed firmware, they cost and complication of product updates, warranty repairs and such could go up significantly. An example of problems with that strategy is the locked-in inkjet printer cartridges---manufacturers justified it by a combination of 'protecting the customer from expired/counterfeit product' and 'sell the printer cheap and make it up on supplies' strategies---but the end result is that customers either buy new printers on sale or stop buying inkjets entirely. I actually look and buy products that have a reputation for openness and upgradeability: openWRT network routers, GE programmable lights, etc. I will avoid products that are designed to be locked up, just like I would never buy a car with the hood welded shut.

MindTech
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re: Opinion: Security is the Achilles heel
MindTech   8/27/2012 4:09:30 PM
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Obviously we have people looking at the How and Where of security with the IoT. The whys are fairly obvious: so that damage (physical and monetary) is prevented, sensitive and personal information is not compromised, and that we feel safe and confident in our technology. The next step is to consider the Who and What: there will be a lot of things on the Internet of Things. Some will be safety-critical, some will be life-critical, some will be information- or infrastructure-critical. Most will not be. What we need is classifications of devices and what security measures are necessary to ensure that if they need to remain un-compromised they can. Should I be able to hack my power or water meter? No. Should I be able to hack someone's health device? No. Should I be able to hack my toaster? Maybe, so long as I can't hack yours remotely and burn down your house. Should I be able to hack my non-critical house sensors? Yes, absolutely, so I can gather more data or create special applications with them.

MindTech
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re: Opinion: Security is the Achilles heel
MindTech   8/27/2012 4:10:01 PM
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Obviously we have people looking at the How and Where of security with the IoT. The whys are fairly obvious: so that damage (physical and monetary) is prevented, sensitive and personal information is not compromised, and that we feel safe and confident in our technology. The next step is to consider the Who and What: there will be a lot of things on the Internet of Things. Some will be safety-critical, some will be life-critical, some will be information- or infrastructure-critical. Most will not be. What we need is classifications of devices and what security measures are necessary to ensure that if they need to remain un-compromised they can. Should I be able to hack my power or water meter? No. Should I be able to hack someone's health device? No. Should I be able to hack my toaster? Maybe, so long as I can't hack yours remotely and burn down your house. Should I be able to hack my non-critical house sensors? Yes, absolutely, so I can gather more data or create special applications with them.

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