Items tagged with Internet of Things

Security researchers are warning of an exploit in the ZigBee low-power wireless power protocol that could allow an attacker to infiltrate a home network through smart lighting. The researches focused primarily on Philips Hue smart bulbs because of their market popularity in the smart lighting segment, though the ZigBee protocol is actually used on a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. "Continuing from where the previous research left off, Check Point’s researchers showed how a threat actor could exploit an IoT network (smart lightbulbs and their control bridge) to launch attacks on conventional computer networks in homes, businesses or even smart cities," Check Point stated... Read more...
In somewhat of a surprise announcement, Google is pulling in the reins of its Android Things platform and will now focus solely on smart speakers and smart displays, as opposed to the Internet of Things (IoT) category as a whole. The reason it is a bit of a surprise is because the IoT market is rather larger, and growing. Devices are getting smarter and more functional by the day, as a result of baking in Internet connectivity and related features. That is part of the reason why Samsung last year announced a $22 billion investment AI, 5G, automotive component ,and biopharmaceutical technologies. Samsung mentioned the IoT category as one of the areas that would benefit from its investment, and... Read more...
It does not seem all that farfetched that one day even your toaster will connect to the web and download crusty designs to sear into your bread. We have entered the Internet of Things (IoT) era. The focus on IoT devices can lead to some fun and interesting things (and of course useful), but also comes with added risk. To that end, security researchers warn of newly discovered vulnerabilities affecting one of the most popular IoT platforms out there. That platform is FreeRTOS, which is widely used in a range of IoT and embedded devices. FreeRTOS is a real-time operating system kernel with a small memory footprint and low overhead. It's also pretty fast and supported on a whole bunch of architectures,... Read more...
Smart speakers are growing in popularity, but in addition to providing a level of convenience to home consumers, they can potentially act as another point of entry for hackers and cyber criminals. To demonstrate this, researchers Wu Huiyu and Qian Wenxiang demonstrated at DefCon 2018 a technique for hacking Amazon's second-generation Echo speaker that allows an attacker to spy on the speaker's owner. The hackers spent month developing the technique. On the bright side, they have only managed to intercept the microphone rather than take complete control of the speaker, the latter of which could open the door to hacking an entire home network—speakers like the Echo tap into smart home devices,... Read more...
Google is rolling out a couple of new products aimed at helping customers build and deploy intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) devices at scale. One of those products is the Edge TPU (tensor processing unit), a tiny hardware chip designed to muscle through machine learning tasks in IoT gadgets, and the other is Cloud IoT Edge, a software stack that extends Google's Cloud AI to gateways and connected devices. Used together, Google's two new products enable customers to build and train machine learning models in the cloud, then run those models on the Cloud IoT Edge device through the power of the Edge TPU hardware accelerator. "By running on-device machine learning models, Cloud IoT Edge with... Read more...
Qualcomm has done well for itself in the smartphone space, as more often not, you will find that a noteworthy Android phone is running on the company's hardware, and specifically one of its Snapdragon chipsets. That is not Qualcomm's only focus, however. In a press release today, Qualcomm announced its new Vision Intelligence Platform with its first family of system-on-chips (SoCs) purpose-built for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. The new chips are built on an advanced 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process. They include the QCS605 and QCS603, both of which are engineered to deliver powerful computing capabilities for on-device camera processing and machine learning. According... Read more...
It should not surprise anyone that Samsung is planning to enter the smart speaker market with a product of its own, one that is powered by its Bixby digital assistant. Smart speakers are in high demand, thanks in large part to Amazon and what it has been able to do with its Alexa-powered Echo products. Others have followed suit, including Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Samsung will join the fray within the next few months. People briefed on Samsung's plans told Bloomberg that Samsung is aiming to launch a smart speaker powered by Bixby in the first half of 2018. Samsung will be going up against an increasingly crowded field of competitors, but that has not stopped the company from doing its own... Read more...
A security firm is warning of a new botnet targeting IoT (Internet of Things) devices that is on the move. Dubbed IoT_reaper, the new botnet borrows some of the source code from Mirai, which took down the popular security blog KrebsOnSecurity with a massive DDoS attack, ultimately forcing Brian Krebs, the security expert in charge of the blog, to find a new hosting company and seek shelter behind Google Shield for DDoS protection. Unfortunately, it is believed that this new strain called Reaper could be even more virulent than Mirai. Whereas Mirai was able to spread by cracking weak passwords on IoT devices that oftentimes were never changed from their defaults, Reaper looks for multiple vulnerabilities... Read more...
Most people do not think of a smart speaker being a potentially life saving gadget, but with the ability to dial up the police in emergencies, there is the potential for such items to serve as much more than just an entertainment gadget that can relay the weather and fire up playlists. That is the case for a woman and her daughter who were house-sitting in Tejaras, New Mexico last week. While house-sitting, an argument broke out between the woman and her boyfriend, Eduardo Barros, which turned physical, according to Deputy Felicia Romero, a spokesperson for the Bernalilo County Sheriff Department. The argument escalated to where Barros allegedly brandished a gun and threatened to kill his girlfriend.... Read more...
The fast growing Internet of Things (IoT) market has been a boon to the mini PC market, and the same can be said about the relatively recent maker movement. Plain and simple, geeks love to tinker. The affordable Raspberry Pi helped popularize the mini PC category by offering tinkerers cheap entry into the field, and because of that, we're seeing some interesting competitors emerge. One of them is the NanoPi Neo Plus2. The NanoPi Neo Plus2 is powerful and cheaper alternative to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. It is available online for just $25, which is $10 less expensive than the Pi 3. Based on price along, you might think the NanoPi Neo Plus2 is a comparatively under powered mini PC or otherwise... Read more...
Smart home products are gaining in popularity, and companies like Amazon and Google want to the ones powering the experience. Here's the thing—if you're buying into Google's ecosystem, you might yourself with multiple devices, even in the same room. For example, you might buy a Google Home smart speaker for voice commands and a Google Wifi mesh router for Internet connectivity. They'll work together, buy why not combine them into a single product?That's exactly what Google is considering. A paywalled report in The Information has it on some kind of authority that Google is thinking about "a version of its Google Home intelligent speaker with built-in mesh Wi-Fi networking." This all-in-one solution... Read more...
Companies are embracing the smart home movement in a number of fun and creative ways. Thanks to smart home speakers and technologies, you can bark out commands to the cloud to do things like dim the lights, play music, look up the weather, and even order a pizza. Amazon hopped out in front of the trend with its Echo speaker and Alexa digital assistant, but here comes Google with its Google Home speaker. In a bid to be more competitive, Google has added a dozen new partners to its smart home initiative. These new home automation integrations introduced with the latest update add a wealth of functionality to Google Home powered by the company's Google Assistant. Here is a look at the list of players... Read more...
A full-blown Skynet situation might be the thing of science fiction (we hope, anyway), but that doesn't mean bizarre things involving machines can't happen. As proof of this, Verizon teased an entry in its upcoming 2017 Data Breach Digest that describes a recent DDoS attack on an unnamed university involving vending machines, light bulbs, and 5,000 Internet of Things (IoT) devices. As with many DDoS attacks involving IoT devices, this one is the result of system administrators being a little too lax with security on these seemingly benign devices. The university in question dismissed complaints from students across campus about slow or inaccessible network connectivity. When things took a turn... Read more...
Intel might be best known for its line of semiconductors (and rightfully so), but computer processors isn't the only category that it is investing in. The Santa Clara chipmaker has also jumped on board the fast growing Internet of Things (IoT) sector, a category that it sees as "nothing short of a revolution," and it's tapped Tom Lantzsch to lead the way. Lantzsch joins Intel's executive leadership team as the company's new senior vice president and general manager of the IoT Group. He's spent more than three decades serving Fortune 500 companies and early stage startup firms, including the last 10 years acting as executive vice president of strategy at ARM. "Here’s what we want you to know about... Read more...
Mobile chip maker Qualcomm has inked a definitive agreement to purchase NXP Semiconductors in a deal valued at around $47 billion. The board of directors of both companies gave unanimous approval for the acquisition, which will see Qualcomm buy all of NXP's stock at $110 per share, an 11.5 percent premium over NXP's closing price on Wednesday. Should the deal receive regulatory approval, Qualcomm will be in position to become a major player in the fast growing connected car market. NXP is a leading chip maker in the automotive industry with mixed-signal semiconductor solutions for in-vehicle infotainment, networking, and safety systems. The company's products are found in 14 of the top 15 infotainment... Read more...
So here we go again, another "massive and sustained Internet attack" made possible by a large collection of hacked Internet of Things (IoT) devices, things such as CCTV video cameras, digital video records, all sorts of smart home gadgets with a connection to the Internet, KrebsOnSecurity has determined. This is not the first time it has happened and it won't be the last. The recent attack, an apparent retaliation by WikiLeak supporters after the Obama administration allegedly used its influence to push the Ecuadorian government to cut off Internet access to whistleblower Julian Assange, focused its artillery of hacked IoT devices on DNS provider Dyn. It was another large scale DDoS attack,... Read more...
Well, this isn't good. The source code for the botnet that took KrebsOnSecurity down by tapping into an unprecedented number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has been released to the public. It's availability virtually ensures that distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks equal in size or even larger will follow, creating financial headaches and service disruptions for companies both big and small. Brian Krebs, a renowned security expert and author of the aforementioned blog, recently found his website the target of one of the largest DDoS attacks in history. The massive attack brought in a record 620 gigabits per second of traffic. That's almost twice as much as Akamai, the cloud provider... Read more...
The web is becoming the wild, wild west all over again it seems. You could argue the Internet's always been a potentially dangerous place, but with the proliferation of smart devices becoming increasingly commonplace, cybercriminals now have more points of entry into home networks than ever before. Smart home automation gadgets collectively comprise much of what's referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), and just like your PC, they can be silently hijacked and enlisted into a botnet, a malicious network of systems under the control of a foreign party. Individually, all these smart lighting, media streamers, Nest thermostats, and other IoT gadgets don't pose a major threat, just as a... Read more...
It's still relatively early in the smart home movement that's been making headway into the mainstream market and that means there's a ton of untapped potential for creative and innovative solutions. One of them was just introduced by Logitech—it's the Pop Home Switch, or basically a programmable button that can control multiple smart home devices. You can program up to three different action sequences in each switch, which in turn are initiated by a single press, double press, or a long press. For example, you might program a single press to turn lighting on or off, a double press to lock the doors, or a long press to initiate an activity like movie night whereby the Pop dims the lights and turns... Read more...
It's been just over a year since Nest released its first security camera, an inside model with obvious Dropcam DNA, but what about setting up surveillance for outside the home? That's been one of the most requested product updates and now Nest has answered the call with the Nest Cam Outdoor, a security camera that's designed for the rigors of outside life. The Nest Cam Outdoor can do everything its indoor sibling can, only it isn't afraid of rain or snow—it sports a weatherproof design to protect it against the elements. It's also purportedly easy to install on a variety of surfaces, including wood, brick, and stucco. There's even a magnetic mount that you can stick on a rain gutter. And unlike... Read more...
Microsoft's been laser focused on the cloud as of late, and in particular the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market that's comprised of Internet connected devices. With an eye towards the industrial side, Microsoft and GE are partnering up to bring the latter's Predix platform to the former's Azure cloud service. It's the first step towards what the two companies envision as a broad strategic collaboration. "Every industry and every company around the world is being transformed by digital technology,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. "Working with companies like GE, we can reach a new set of customers to help them accelerate their transformation across every line of business... Read more...
Buying into the Internet of Things (IoT) movement that's emerging means putting a great deal of trust into the cloud. It's a double-edged sword, because on the one hand the cloud is key to smart conveniences offered by IoT devices, but it also introduces risk. In case we need reminding of the latter, cybersecurity researchers at the University of Michigan showcased a series of proof-of-concept attacks targeting Samsung's popular SmartThings platform. One of their creations is a lock-pick malware app. What it does is eavesdrop on someone setting up a new PIN code for a door lock and then sends the PIN in a text message to a hacker. The researchers disguised the malware as a smart battery monitor,... Read more...
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