Grappling With IoT Security

By Ed Sperling & Ernest Worthman As the IoT begins to take shape, the security implications of connecting devices and systems to the Internet and what needs to be done to secure them are coming into focus, as well. There is growing consensus across the semiconductor industry that many potential security holes remain, with new ones surfacing all the time. But there also is widespread r... » read more

Back Doors Are Everywhere

By Ernest Worthman & Ed Sperling Back doors have been a part of chip design since the beginning. One of the first open references was in the 1983 movie "War Games," which features a young computer whiz who uses one to hack into a computer that controls the United States' nuclear arsenal. In reality, modern back doors predate Hollywood's discovery by about 20 years, starting in 1965 wi... » read more

Scare Of The Month: The Breach At Juniper

Details are sketchy, but it was definitely a back door hack of Juniper. That almost always points in the direction of an inside job. So far, no one quite knows how exactly the hack was accomplished. But what scares me is that, supposedly, this code has been in the system for three years already. Drilling down a bit, it turns out there was more than one back door. One of them allowed ... » read more

The Deep And Dark Webs

From time to time we hear a snippet or two about the “other” Web – the dark side of the Internet and the Web. For the most part, until something happens that brings the activity within that arena to the surface (such as the recent Silk Road exposure where anything was available for a price), that segment quietly hums along. But that is about to change. Once the IoE evolution gets tract... » read more

What’s Really Inside?

Is it just paranoia, or do devices ranging from industrial controls to military hardware really contain malicious code, Trojan Horses, and remotely triggered back doors? The answer is "maybe not" if you're an optimist, and "maybe" if you're a pessimist, but no one really knows for sure. And that's what really worries security experts, particularly as more devices are connected to other devices.... » read more

Locking Down The Chip

The crypto processor is poised to break into the mainstream SoC world. Lower costs for manufacturing, coupled with rising security concerns from increased connectivity and growing complexity have cracked open the door on this approach to locking down a chip. Crypto processors aren’t a new concept, but they generally have been reserved for high-end applications. Until recently, they have ju... » read more