Art Swift: How to fix the Internet of Broken Things

MIPS vendor Imagination Tech points to this article by Art Swift on  IoT security issues:

The Internet of Things is already permeating every part of our lives – from healthcare to aviation, automobiles to telecoms. But its security is fundamentally broken. In my previous two blogs I’ve shown how vulnerabilities found by security researchers could have catastrophic consequences for end users. This isn’t just about data breaches and reputational damage anymore – lives are quite literally on the line. The challenges are many: most vendors operate under the misapprehension that security-by-obscurity will do – and lobby for laws preventing the disclosure of vulnerabilities; a lack of security subject matter expertise creates major vulnerabilities; firmware can too easily be modified; and a lack of separation on the device opens up further avenues for attackers. But there is something we as an industry can do about it – if we take a new hardware-led approach. This is all about creating an open security framework built on interoperable standards; one which will enable a “root of trust” thanks to secure boot capabilities, and restrict lateral movement with hardware-based virtualization.

Microsoft Windows, Adobe Flash, Oracle Java – what do these software products have in common? They’re all proprietary closed source. And they’re all among the most vulnerable and exploited on the planet. Many mainstream browsers don’t even run Java; Flash is such a security concern that modern browsers offer the option to activate plugins on a per-page basis, while system administrators will be well aware that Windows receives numerous security updates every single month –the CVE database reports 120 Windows 7 vulnerabilities in 2015 alone, as of October 2015. The problem is that the security-by-obscurity mantra that many firms and IoT makers hold so dear is simply not effective any more. […]

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