"the engineers doing the work are not experts in security and are concerned mostly with enabling functionality" Yes, so true. It's hard enough to develop the product with the right features and on time and on budget. Then the parasites come in, and try to break it, sometimes just so they can break it.
@WarrenM: Thanks for the suggestion. The insulin pump attack was (judging from a quick skim) more of an attack on the wireless control protocol of the device. There was another interesting article recently about possible attacks on automotive controls via the OBD ports. Both of these illustrate (in my opinion) the difficulties in getting protocols and software designed and implemented correctly and robustly, especially when the engineers doing the work are not experts in security and are concerned mostly with enabling functionality.
FYI... There is an oufit called Wave Systems Corp. which is in the Trusted Platform Module ( TPM) business which is, I believe a hardware security approach. perhaps you've heard of them and can comment?
? Have you ever seen a report of a successful side channel attack on a product in the field? I've seen several descriptions of successful attacks, but they have (if I recall correctly) revolved around exploiting implementation errors such as having a poor quality random number generator rather than a direct attack on the cryptography.
I stumbled upon this interesting hack. A guy shows how to let your drone or ground station take over control of another drone by attacking its wireless network. It uses MAC id to find drones in the area.
One design does do remote updates. Replacement files are packaged and sent to the clients who verify the contents and then replace their local files (e.g. python scripts) with new versions in the package.
I am surprised you'd talk about side channel attacks since (in my understanding) they are difficult to exploit. I'd have thought that failure of a security system is much more likely caused by a) poor implementation decisions and b) social engineering. I don't think that you can overstress the importance of a careful implementation and review by experts in the fields.
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You call it reverse engineering. I call it an often necessary part of service for older equipment.
If the manufacturer is no longer available and it is not possible to determine how the product works I am forced to tell the customer to junk it. I also tell them to stick to larger manufacturers that don't tend to mix marketing with design.
BTW: A pox on all printer manufacturers that put chips in the ink cartridge!
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