Risk
2/21/2011
06:19 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Security Coming To Mobile And Embedded Devices

Security firm McAfee expects 50 billion mobile and connected embedded devices by the year 2020. And guess who is promoting new tools promising to protect them. But is this a layer of protection we are going to need?

Security firm McAfee expects 50 billion mobile and connected embedded devices by the year 2020. And guess who is promoting new tools promising to protect them. But is this a layer of protection we are going to need?Based on recent events, I'd have the say the answer is a resounding "Yes."

Last year we were introduced to Stuxnet, which proved that SCADA systems and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are viable targets for worms and viruses. We've seen a number of Trojans and other forms of malware aimed at smart phones, and even a new attack that can pull cryptography keys directly from mobile device signals.

Then there's the story that broke just last week about the ATM machine that was programmed to give cash away. From NBC Chicago:

Authorities said Thursday that more than $140,000 has been stolen since December of 2010 from private cash machines installed by Maryland-based ATM Systems.

The thieves used special codes to reprogram the machines to spit out more money than they should during a single transaction.

We are going to have the same types of threats targeting mobile and embedded devices, clearly. Which is why it's not a big surprise to see security software maker McAfee and Wind River (Intel properties, both) announce plans to integrate some of McAfee's software with Wind River's mobile and embedded device software, such as those used in ATMs and SCADA systems.

Kelly Jackson Higgins at Dark Reading covered the partnership, made public at last week's RSA Conference 2011:

The first products from the development initiative are planned for the second half of the year, initially with McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) security management agent added to Wind River's software. "We'll do reporting and compliance and whitelisting," said Dave DeWalt, president and CEO of McAfee. Network access control, DLP, and host intrusion prevention also will be integrated into Wind River's software over time, he said.

Ken Klein, president of Wind River, which was acquired by Intel in 2009, says the booming number of connected devices need to be secured. "This is purpose-driven protection for all layers of the stack" that specifically addresses the power and performance constraints under which these devices must operate, he said. The companies will integrate their sales, support, and joint marketing efforts for the new product line.

Expect to see, in the coming months and years, much more news on securing the extended Internet of embedded and mobile devices.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter as @georgevhulme.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-4440
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 generates weak non-tty passwords, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the password via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2013-4442
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 uses weak pseudo generated numbers when /dev/urandom is unavailable, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the numbers.

CVE-2014-2026
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the search functionality in United Planet Intrexx Professional before 5.2 Online Update 0905 and 6.x before 6.0 Online Update 10 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the request parameter.

CVE-2014-2716
Published: 2014-12-19
Ekahau B4 staff badge tag 5.7 with firmware 1.4.52, Real-Time Location System (RTLS) Controller 6.0.5-FINAL, and Activator 3 reuses the RC4 cipher stream, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain plaintext messages via an XOR operation on two ciphertexts.

CVE-2014-6395
Published: 2014-12-19
Heap-based buffer overflow in the dissector_postgresql function in dissectors/ec_postgresql.c in Ettercap before 8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted password length value that is inconsistent with the actual length of the password...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.