HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

The Cyberhacker Sitting Next to You

NO RATINGS
Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Good story on a real problem
Elizabeth M   3/5/2014 6:09:30 AM
NO RATINGS
Very thoughtful story, Rob. The headline really drew me in especially because I sort of had a personal experience with this many years ago (I would say about eight years ago now) when I was with a friend in SF who was a software engineer. We were in a cafe and he had his laptop and he showed me how with a program he could intercept wireless traffic in that cafe and essentially hack into wireless devices. (He didn't do it, but just showed me that he could if he wanted to.) We've come a long way since then but there are still very real threats out there and it's good to focus attention on this problem before it gets out of hand.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good story on a real problem
Rob Spiegel   3/5/2014 7:27:09 AM
NO RATINGS
Good story, Elizabeth. I honestly don't see how we're going to get ahead of this problem. 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good story on a real problem
William K.   3/5/2014 9:43:42 AM
NO RATINGS
Definitely a real problem here, Elizabeth, and amn interesting tale as well. The problem as stated also mentions a potential solution, unstated, but nobody would like the obvious way to reduce the problem. In the simplest terms, a system that can't hear the outside commands, and does not even speak that language, is rather less likely to be "lead astray." I am not suggesting the same thing as the physical isolation approach, which your article points out is not effective, without even mentioning isolation as a concept. But consider that a large number of the things that open a system to invaders are done for convenience. Memory sticks and RF access, along with internet access, are mostly for the convenience of users, rather than actually vital to the main function of a system. So just like your conclusion, security must be integral and constant.  Making data ports one-way only as a hardware design would make things less convenient, but if they were really one-way, nothing could enter by that path. So separating data gathering and reporting from process cntrol is certainly less efficient, but if it is done in a one-way only hardware scheme it can stop hackers. Of course all code must also include enough security, but that is at least in theory, hackable. I have described one more method of improving security, not a total solution, but a way to block some of the holes.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good story on a real problem
Ann R. Thryft   3/5/2014 6:17:39 PM
NO RATINGS
Gee thanks, Rob, I didn't sleep so well after reading this. Seriously, though, thanks for the reporting on this important subject. Several years ago I wrote a white paper on security for a very large company in the business and was really horrified at what I learned. That was the year that all those breaches started occurring at credit card processors and lost company laptops with huge customer databases on them. The basic takeaway was, it's usually an inside job.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good story on a real problem
Rob Spiegel   3/5/2014 7:20:06 PM
NO RATINGS
You're right about inside jobs, Ann. Both examples in this story were inside jobs. I just came out of a meeting with automation and control engineers who work with a big automation vendor. They say the plant operators don't believe anyoine would want to attack their networks.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Security Concerns
Mydesign   3/6/2014 3:53:46 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
"Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly thorny concern for those running automation and control networks. With the proliferation of plant networks matched by the growing Internet of Things and wireless everything, security has become a major issue."

You are right ROB. Security is a major concern especially with self talking and networking devices. I don't think it cannot be address permentlly because hackers are more brilliant than security professionals.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good story on a real problem
Elizabeth M   3/6/2014 6:50:19 AM
NO RATINGS
These are all really good points, William K. There are a lot of external devices the use of which can be eliminated to help keep networks more secure, and this can be done quite easily. Sometimes the simplest way to help alleviate a problem is overlooked.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good story on a real problem
Elizabeth M   3/6/2014 6:59:02 AM
NO RATINGS
Agree with you and Ann here, Rob, about the inside jobs. And I think that this is often the case not just in plants but when other business networks are attacked as well.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Security Concerns
Rob Spiegel   3/6/2014 9:42:49 AM
NO RATINGS
Good point, Mydesign. This will be very interesting as it plays out. There's simply no clear answer. 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good story on a real problem
Rob Spiegel   3/6/2014 9:46:43 AM
NO RATINGS
Inside jobs may be the biggest threat, Elizabeth. I can't even imagine an effective strategy to prevent attacks from inside. 

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
It's been two years since the Mac Mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service