Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

Security anxiety; digital health; goodbye, Airware.


Internet of Things
Release 3 is published by oneM2M, the worldwide Internet of Things interoperability standards initiative. The third set of specifications deals with 3GPP interworking, especially as it relates to cellular IoT connectivity, among other features. The release is said to enable seamless interworking with narrowband IoT and LTE-M connectivity through the 3GPP Service Capability Exposure Function. More information is available here.

FogHorn Systems says its Lightning Edge Industrial IoT platform received Industrial Software Competency status from Amazon Web Services, attesting that the software is capable of working in product design, production design, production, and operations. FogHorn is part of the AWS Partner Network.

The Senate will reportedly soon consider legislation elevating the National Protection and Programs Directorate within the Department of Homeland Security, renaming it as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The House of Representatives last year passed a bill authorizing the elevation to agency status.

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week wrote in a letter to Senate leaders that certain senators and their aides have had their personal email accounts “targeted by foreign government hackers.” He did not identify those affected senators and aides, nor did he specify which foreign government is responsible for the hacking. The Office of the Sergeant at Arms has no authority over securing personal email accounts; it only watches over official email accounts. “This must change,” Wyden wrote. “The November election grows ever closer, Russia continues its attacks on our democracy, and the Senate simply does not have the luxury of further delays.”

Meanwhile, FireEye reports that APT33, its name for a group of Iranian hackers, has launched a spear-phishing email campaign against energy firms in Japan, the Mideast, and North America, and warns that a more disruptive campaign of cyberattacks may be in the works.

Three cybersecurity analysts at Kaspersky Lab say they found three times as many malware samples targeting smart devices during the first half of this year as they did in all of 2017. Telnet password cracking is among the most common methods of hacking into Internet-connected devices, they report. Brazil is the leading source of these password attacks, with 23% originating in the South American country, followed by China (17%), Japan (9%), the Russian Federation (7%), and the United States (4%).

Tenable Research identified a zero-day vulnerability in connected surveillance cameras. It has dubbed this the “Peekaboo” flaw, which potentially enables cybercriminals to see and tamper with video surveillance recordings through a remote code execution vulnerability in software provided by NUUO. Tenable disclosed the flaw to NUUO, which issued a security upgrade for three of its surveillance systems.

Spirent Communications shared a cybersecurity research report conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group and commissioned by Spirent. ESG found that 96% of the organizations it surveyed have expanded the responsibilities of their chief information security officers. In talking to more than 400 enterprise security professionals, ESG learned that almost 80% cited the expanded volume and sophistication of malware as the main reason it is becoming harder to protect vital information. Digital business projects, cloud and third-party infrastructure, and the IoT present significant challenges to securing the enterprise. The ESG report can be found here.

Automotive Tech
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance agreed to use Google’s Android mobile operating system for the infotainment systems in their automotive vehicles. Google last year struck deals with Audi and Volvo Car to develop Android-based infotainment systems. Under the new deal, Android is built directly into the infotainment systems of Renault, Nissan Motor, and Mitsubishi Motors cars, enabling drivers to access the voice-activated Google Assistant, Google Maps, and the Google Play Store. This technology is separate from Android Auto, the operating system connecting automotive electronics with Android smartphones.

Volvo Trucks unveiled a new autonomous model at a company event in Berlin, Germany. Lars Stenqvist, executive president and chief technology officer for Volvo Group Trucks Technology, said the cab-less electric vehicle has more than 30 sensors, including camera, radar, LiDAR, and ultrasonic sensors. It has a super-high-capacity computer for making the necessary driving calculations, with active cooling for the heat generated by the computer. Decisions made by the vehicle are aided by artificial intelligence technology.

The Audi e-tron electric sport utility vehicle was officially rolled out this week. The EV has a more powerful battery than competing SUVs and can reach 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. The SUV is said to have a range of 248 miles under the New European Driving Cycle; less range is expected when the Environmental Protection Agency runs its own test on the e-tron. Audi is taking refundable deposits of $1,000 for the e-tron, expected to be available in the U.S. next spring; pricing starts at about $75,000 or $86,700 for well-equipped “First Edition” models.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is reportedly seeking new offers for its Magneti Marelli car parts subsidiary, after judging KKR’s offer of about €5 billion to be insufficient.

Indonesia’s Go-Jek is looking to raise $2 billion or more in new private funding to pay for its international expansion, Bloomberg News reports. The company raised about $1.5 billion last spring. Its investors include Temasek, Tencent, and Warburg Pincus.

China Mobile and Qualcomm Technologies deployed a roadside unit for LTE-V2X communication in an IoT pilot project in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. The units are based on Qualcomm’s 9150 C-V2X chipset.

NXP Semiconductors is working with Hitachi Solutions on a V2X offering for the Japanese automotive market. NXP will provide a V2X modem and processor for the project, while Hitachi supplies a V2X software stack.

Knorr-Bremse of Germany, a manufacturer of automotive braking systems, plans to go public before the end of this year on the Frankfurt stock exchange. The company expects to be valued at €12 billion, or $14.1 billion.

Germany expects to have 1 million EVs and hybrid vehicles on its roads by 2022. The country currently has about 460,000 electric and hybrid vehicles.

Udelv will provide self-driving vehicles to supermarkets in Kansas City, where they will be used to deliver groceries to customers at their homes. The company began providing autonomous vehicles to merchants in the San Francisco Bay Area earlier this year. Ten vehicles will be delivered to the Kansas City stores by the end of next June, according to udelv.

Barclays Bank is lending $1 billion to NXP Semiconductors under a bridge term credit agreement between the companies. The chipmaker will use the funds for general corporate purposes and to help finance its $5 billion equity buyback program.

Startup funding rounds:
Lucid Motors, a developer of electric cars in Silicon Valley, received more than $1 billion in funding from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Lucid plans to launch the luxury Lucid Air EV in 2020.
• Warburg Pincus invested $500 million for a 50% equity stake in NewEase, a Chinese startup developing a warehouse and logistics platform. NewEase plans to install logistics facilities in airport hubs and other locations throughout China during the next three years.
• San Francisco-based Postmates, an on-demand delivery company, raised $300 million in new funding led by Tiger Global, valuing Postmates at nearly $1.2 billion. The startup may have an initial public offering next year.
UiPath of New York received $225 million in Series C funding led by Sequoia Capital and CapitalG, giving the startup a valuation of more than $3 billion. UiPath develops robotic process automation software.
• San Francisco-based GitLab is valued at $1.1 billion after raising $100 million in Series D funding led by Iconiq, bringing its total private funding to $145.5 million. The startup, which has a lifecycle DevOps platform, is aiming for an IPO by November of 2020.
Enigma, a data-as-a-service startup in New York, received $95 million in new funding led by NEA, an existing investor. It had publicly announced a previous funding round in mid-2015.
• San Francisco-based Shift raised $71 million in Series D funding led by Lithia Motors. The online marketplace for used cars also took in $70 million in debt funding. Shift now has a total of $265 million in equity and debt financing.

• India’s Ola, a ride-hailing startup, received $50 million in new funding by Sailing Capital and CEECF. The latest funding values the company at $4.3 billion.

WHILL of San Carlos, Calif., raised $45 million in Series C funding led by SBI Investment, Daiwa Securities Group, and WHIZ Partners to continue development of its powered personal mobility devices. The startup has about $80 million in total private funding. Its products are meant to help people with disabilities get around in airports and other facilities.

• Hong Kong-based Freightos received $44.4 million in Series C funding led by Singapore Exchange. The startup offers a marketplace for logistics providers.

Fidelis Cybersecurity of Bethesda, Md., raised $25 million from its existing investors. The startup will use the money for continued development of its Fidelis Elevate unified security platform and for international expansion.

• Paris-based Kayrros received €21 million (about $24.7 million) in Series B funding led by Cathay Innovation. The startup provides data analytics for the energy business.

The Studio, which provides custom product manufacturing, raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Ignition Partners. The startup, which styles itself as The/Studio and was established in 2013, now focuses on fashion manufacturing, with plans to move into consumer electronics and furniture.

• Israel’s BreezoMeter received $7.75 million in Series B funding led by Goldacre and Entrée Capital. The startup offers hyperlocal information on air quality and pollen.

Imprint Energy, a developer of flexible, printed, ultrathin batteries for IoT devices and other products using LoRa wireless networks, raised $5 million from Semtech, Global Value Investment Portfolio Management’s u.life fund, and Phoenix Venture Partners, bringing its total private funding to $11 million.

Scythe, a cybersecurity startup in Arlington, Va., received $3 million in seed funding. Among its investors is Ron Gula, president of Gula Tech Ventures, who is the former CEO of Tenable, a cybersecurity firm that went public this year.

• Spain’s Hdiv Security got $1 million in seed funding led by Adara Ventures. The company was founded in 2008.

Industrial Growth Partners completed its $420 million sale of Grakon to Methode Electronics. Grakon makes lighting systems for vehicles.

Marvell said its FastLinQ Ethernet and QLogic Fibre Channel technologies are now available on the Dell EMC PowerEdge MX. FastLinQ offers data transmission of 10 or 25 gigabits per second, while QLogic can move data at 16Gbps or 32Gbps.

Synopsys reports Graphcore used the Synopsys Design Platform to implement its Colossus intelligent processing unit for accelerating artificial intelligence computing. LG Electronics used the company’s DesignWare HDMI 2.1 Controller IP with HDCP 2.3 Embedded Security Module for ultra-high-definition video and high-fidelity audio in its multimedia system-on-a-chip devices.

Mentor, a Siemens Business, says its Xpedition and PADS Professional printed circuit board design tools now comply with the ISO 26262 functional safety standard.

Silicon Labs has a new Wireless Xpress offering that developers can use to get IoT applications up and running in a short time, without writing any code. It can be used with Bluetooth 5 Low Energy and Wi-Fi modules.

Arm debuted its Mbed Cordio Stack, qualified for Bluetooth 5 Low Energy, for faster development of IoT devices. The Arm Cordio BLE software stack is integrated with the Mbed embedded operating system, adding Bluetooth to the connectivity protocols available for Mbed OS, which also supports 6LoWPAN, cellular, LoRa, Thread and Wi-Fi. The Arm Mbed Cordio Stack is immediately available worldwide. Arm Mbed Cordio Bluetooth Mesh will be available in the first quarter of 2019.

Google’s Nest brand is reportedly making a move into the digital health market, using technology from the 2017 acquisition of Seattle’s Senosis Health. The Senosis products could be targeted at the elderly. Nest is said to be keeping the product plans under wraps until it is ready for a public launch.

Infineon Technologies is establishing a Security Research Group at its Silicon Valley Innovation Center in Milpitas, Calif. The chip company also is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Security and Privacy Institute.

Arm TechCon is coming up on October 16-18 at the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley. Arm will put on a program of presentations by Arm executives and others. There will be an exhibition at the center’s halls.

The Fog World Congress is scheduled for October 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, Calif. Arm is among the corporate sponsors of the event. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will give a keynote address.

Airware of San Francisco, which was established in 2011 to develop an operating system for drones, is shutting down after running through $118 million in venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz, GV, Kleiner Perkins, and other investors. The company more recently touted itself as a drone analytics vendor.

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