Thursday, August 18, 2016

IoTA 23 - Hold me closer tiny hackers

Show Notes:
Eric Jhonsa of the Street reports that The Internet of Things is more hype than reality for many tech giants. He states that in the rush to capitalize on the IoT boom, that many of the "big boys" have coopted the term even though they have no offerings specific to IoT. This happened before when Big Data, Cloud Computing, and Cybersecurity took off as well. He states, "As a result, unless a [company] goes about bying IoT related service providers, its claims of major IoT exposure probably deserve some scrutiny."
Traffic flows better with Digi IoT-based traffic management writes Deepak Puri in Network World. With traffic consistently getting worse, and in Atlanta we have some of the worst in the nation with the exception of Los Angeles, Digi is focused on solving those woes. They are using 4 types of sensors: 1) inductive loop sensors (in pavement), 2) cameras, 3) pre-emption transmitter (emergency vehicles can trigger lights), 4) smart traffic signs. The Digi Transport WR31 4G LTE router is designed for traffic monitoring and control. Data collected during rush hour is use to adjust traffic lights to make traffic flow as efficient as possible. There is of course security concerns that the system could be hacked and special care is being taken to ensure security.
Imagine thousands of hackers all attacking you at once. That is exactly what can happen if your device is taken over as part of a botnet attack. Ben Dickson of TechCrunch tells us how to prevent your IoT devices from being forced into botnet bondage. Recently a brick and mortar jewelry store lost access to its online resources during a major, multi-staged DDoS attack. The culprit was 25,000 compromised CCTV cameras scattered around the world. Ben likens these devices to "undying loyal armies of zombie machines". The primary issue is that manufacturers and developers have to patch all the security holes, whereas a hacker only has to find one. Stopping such attacks require constant vigilance and limiting devices to only perform the actions needed and turn off unneeded features can help. Understanding of the problem is the first step to controlling it.
Business Insider reports that IoT Security was on full display at this year's Black Hat Conference. 3 primary areas were hot topics, 1) Vehicle security, 2) the cloud, and 3) general device security. Some points of interest: Companies that operate critical infrastructure sites reported 295 cyber incidents in 2015, up from 245 in 2014.
Hackers are targeting the industrial control systems that operate critical infrastructure because of the enormous damage they can cause by crippling such infrastructure.
Industrial control systems typically weren’t designed to be connected to the internet, so they weren’t built with cybersecurity capabilities to ward off hackers.
The hack that caused a blackout in the Ukraine could serve as a blueprint for other hackers that want to target critical infrastructure, helping them succeed in future attackers.
The Ukraine hack highlighted the importance of training employees about cybersecurity and placing additional access controls on industrial control systems beyond firewalls.
Stephanie Condon reports in ZDNet that Intel has layed out its 5G, IoT Strategy. At IDF, Intel demonstrated in multiple ways how it's aiming to provide the processing power for those machines. The chipmaker introduced multiple modules designed for all sorts of IoT applications. The Joule maker board, for instance, enables people to quickly and cheaply take an IoT concept from a prototype into production. The system-on-module, equipped with Intel's RealSense camera, is a low-power package that could be used for robotics, industrial IoT, VR and other applications. Meanwhile, the Euclid developer kit is effectively a self-contained computer built for robotics. It has an Intel Atom processor, onboard communications, motion and position sensors and a battery. During Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's keynote address, another executive heavyweight, GE CEO Jeff Immelt, joined him on stage to drive home how Intel processing power will be an integral part of large-scale IoT applications like industrial IoT and the development of smart cities.

"Industrial productivity has really declined as of late. Old IT tools are really not getting it done," he said. "In the case of GE, we basically say every industrial company has to transform to be a digital company - this is not a choice... You either embrace the future or you're... not going to satisfy the needs of your customers."

That said, industrial IoT won't be as cloud-based as the consumer side, with more industries inclined to rely on edge devices to process data. As an example, they showcased a smart streetlight, powered by Intel Atom processors. The streetlights collect metadata about nearby pedestrian foot traffic such as how many people were walking by, how fast they're going and in what direction.

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