Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

5/2/2019
04:14 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases
50%
50%

With Launch of Securepairs.org Top Cybersecurity Experts stand up for Digital Right to Repair

Boston, Massachusetts, April 30, 2019 -- Leading information security experts are speaking up in support of right to repair laws that are being debated in state capitols and calling out electronics and technology industry efforts to keep replacement parts, documentation and diagnostic tools for digital devices secret in the name of cyber security.

Declaring “fixable stuff is secure stuff,” the group called for “facts not FUD” (fear, uncertainty and doubt) in the face of recent efforts to paint the right to repair as a cyber security risk. The group of more than 20 cyber security professionals includes some of the most regarded names in information security. Among them: Bruce Schneier of IBM and Harvard University, an author and globally recognized expert in cryptography; Gary McGraw, the computer scientist and author of 12 books on software security; pioneering vulnerability disclosure expert Katie Moussouris of Luta Security; Chris Wysopal, Chief Technology Officer at Veracode, Joe Grand (aka “Kingpin”) of Grand Idea Studio and Dan Geer, the Chief Information Security Officer of In-Q-Tel, a non-profit, venture arm of the CIA.

 “As cyber security professionals, we have a responsibility to provide accurate information and reliable advice to lawmakers who are considering Right to Repair laws,” said Joe Grand of Grand Idea Studio, a hardware hacker and embedded systems security expert.

No cyber risk in repair

“False and misleading information about the cyber risks of repair is being directed at state legislators who are considering right to repair laws,” said Paul Roberts, the founder of securepairs.org and Editor in Chief at The Security Ledger, an independent cyber security blog. “Securepairs.org is a voice of reason that will provide policy makers with accurate information about the security problems plaguing connected devices. We will make the case that right to repair laws will bring about a more secure, not less secure future.”

With right to repair laws proposed in 20 states, the technology, electronics and home appliance industries have gone on the offensive. Working through front groups and public relations firms, they are floating specious arguments about the cyber security risks of repair. In opinion pieces, blog posts and interviews, these groups are painting pro-consumer, pro-competition laws granting digital device owners access to service manuals, diagnostic software or replacement parts as a safety risk and a giveaway to hackers and cyber criminals. 

"We've seen industry opponents using dubious cybersecurity arguments to claim we shouldn't have the freedom to fix the things we own,” said Nathan Proctor, the head of U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign. “I'm grateful the real experts are standing up, and setting the record straight: There is no cyber threat from repair. Just let us fix our stuff."

Security issues with connected devices are real enough, notes Roberts. But they have nothing to do with the kinds of measures promoted in right to repair laws. “Home electronics, personal electronic devices and smart appliances too often ship with easily exploitable software vulnerabilities or insecure configurations. These are the digital equivalent of unlocked or unlockable doors that hackers can step through,” Roberts said. “Sadly, device manufacturers, working through their industry groups, PR firms and paid lobbyists, are spending money trying to sink right to repair legislation that is totally unrelated to these problems,” he said.

“We know from hard experience that security through obscurity is a myth,” said Grand. “Keeping the workings of electronic devices secret does nothing to reduce the threat from motivated, resourceful hackers or cyber criminals. Instead, it prevents legitimate owners from maintaining and repairing their property as they see fit. Manufacturers who support Right to Repair will actually improve, not weaken, security by providing access to documentation and genuine, high quality replacement components,” he said.

Building a nation-wide network of security professionals

Securepairs.org is launching to help mobilize information security professionals to help secure the right to repair in their home states: writing letters and emails and providing expert testimony about the real sources of cyber risks in connected devices. The group is looking to brief lawmakers and to encourage other information security professionals to sign up via its website.

About securepairs.org

Securepairs.org is a not-for-profit, volunteer organization representing information security professionals who support the right to repair. Lawmakers and the public need facts not FUD regarding a digital right repair. Securepairs.org provides a platform for information (“cyber”) professionals to speak with one voice in support of the digital repair rights of owners.

Securepairs.org:
Paul Roberts, Founder Securepairs.org

Email: [email protected] |

Mobile: +1 617 817-0198
Twitter: @paulfroberts | @securepairs

US PIRG

Nathan Proctor

Campaign Director Right to Repair

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: +1 203 522-3860

Twitter: @nproctor

 

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 6/5/2020
How AI and Automation Can Help Bridge the Cybersecurity Talent Gap
Peter Barker, Chief Product Officer at ForgeRock,  6/1/2020
Cybersecurity Spending Hits 'Temporary Pause' Amid Pandemic
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  6/2/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: What? IT said I needed virus protection!
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-13864
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-05
The Elementor Page Builder plugin before 2.9.9 for WordPress suffers from a stored XSS vulnerability. An author user can create posts that result in a stored XSS by using a crafted payload in custom links.
CVE-2020-13865
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-05
The Elementor Page Builder plugin before 2.9.9 for WordPress suffers from multiple stored XSS vulnerabilities. An author user can create posts that result in stored XSS vulnerabilities, by using a crafted link in the custom URL or by applying custom attributes.
CVE-2020-11696
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-05
In Combodo iTop a menu shortcut name can be exploited with a stored XSS payload. This is fixed in all iTop packages (community, essential, professional) in version 2.7.0 and iTop essential and iTop professional in version 2.6.4.
CVE-2020-11697
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-05
In Combodo iTop, dashboard ids can be exploited with a reflective XSS payload. This is fixed in all iTop packages (community, essential, professional) for version 2.7.0 and in iTop essential and iTop professional packages for version 2.6.4.
CVE-2020-13646
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-05
In the cheetah free wifi 5.1 driver file liebaonat.sys, local users are allowed to cause a denial of service (BSOD) or other unknown impact due to failure to verify the value of a specific IOCTL.