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New Book Exposes Catastrophic Security Risks from Internet of Things; Author Still Endorses Its Use

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By B.N. Frank

Privacy and security experts have been warning for many years that Internet of Things (IoT) is too risky.  It has a high failure rate and it’s extremely vulnerable to hackers.

Last summer, IBM warned about serious IoT vulnerabilities with medical implants and utility “Smart” Meters.  More recently experts warned about vulnerabilities with IoT agriculture and “Smart Farms”.  Of course experts have also been warning for many years that ALL wireless and/or “Smart” technology is vulnerable to hacking (see 1, , 3, 4, 5, 6), inaccuracies and other problems (see 1, , 3, 4) including fires (see 1, ).

Last December, then President Trump signed the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 to create standards and guidelines on the use and management of these devices by federal agencies.  In the meantime, proponents continue to endorse the widespread use of this technology despite the catastrophic risks.  Doesn’t make sense, does it?

From Full Measure:


The Internet isn’t just on our phones and computers anymore. It’s a constant presence in almost everything around us. That means a wide world of opportunity – but may also come with threats to our security. Joce Sterman spoke to Laura DeNardis, author of the book “The Internet in Everything,” which starts out by posing the question – what would happen if humans suddenly left the earth?

Laura DeNardis: You’d still have robots moving merchandise around an Amazon fulfillment center. You would have home thermometers changing the climate in a home. Bitcoin would still be mined. Russian social media bots would still be spreading propaganda. And so what that does is it tells us that the internet and the physical world are now intertwined. You can’t really distinguish between the virtual sphere and the physical sphere anymore.

Joce: Some of our viewers may have never heard this term, the Internet of things. How do you sum this up in the simplest definition?

DeNardis: It used to be that we would enter the Internet through a screen. Now objects that are also just in the physical world, whether it’s a soccer ball or whether it is a car or whether it’s a medical device in telemedicine, these are things that are also connected to the internet.

Joce: What do you see as the potential dangers or pitfalls of that?

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DeNardis: It affects everything from security to privacy, to the economy, to what it means to do national security. It used to be said many times in national security spheres that no bullets could be fired in cyberspace, but that’s really not true anymore because you could potentially assassinate someone through the internet if they had a cardiac appliance or you could take down a critical industrial infrastructure without physically being there.

Joce: How do you think the U.S. rates in terms of cyber security and protecting the internet of things?

DeNardis: We’ve seen some discussions on the floor of the house, around the internet of things.” So I think that policy makers are aware of the threat, but now, especially everyone understands the importance of innovations like telemedicine and the need to work from home that will help to draw attention to the consequences of this and have greater action.

Joce: Is it serious enough that you think the internet of things actually threatens our democracy?

DeNardis: I think in general, technology brings us closer to democracy because it empowers people and that the benefits of the cyber physical world far outweigh the problems with it. And it’s exactly because of how important it is and how consequential the innovations are that we have to get the question of security and privacy, right.

Joce: Do you have any concerns at all that you would say to people we should disconnect, we should unplug and stop interconnecting all of these devices, or you feel like it’s fixable?

DeNardis: I’m an engineer at heart and I love technology and I’m a big user of technology. And I think that it has promise for every area of society. And I would never give someone the dystopian message to unplug. I think we have to understand as humans that we’re technological beings, but we have to get this question right about security.

For Full Measure, I’m Joce Sterman.


Other disadvantages associated with IoT and “Smart” technology include

All of that sucks too.

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives.

for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on Telegram, SoMee, HIVE, Flote, Minds, MeWe, Twitter, Gab and Ruqqus.

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New Book Exposes Catastrophic Security Risks from Internet of Things; Author Still Endorses Its Use

This content was originally published here.

Home Security

How to Make a Smart Home | Vector Security

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What is a Smart Home?

Creating a smart home means using technology that saves you time and money, while also adding comfort and convenience to your lifestyle in a secure environment. Equipping your home with smart home technology solutions allows you to employ devices to help you do things like:

There are a variety of ways to outfit your home with the latest technology to support your smart home. When choosing smart home products for your home, you want to make sure that they are compatible with one another so you enjoy the benefits of a true smart home ecosystem and are designed with security in mind.

How to Automate Your Home

Home automation transforms your home to respond to your unique schedule or even to your changing mood. Using the modes feature in the Vector Security app, you can create automatic settings for your lighting, locks and thermostat. The following devices should be at the top of your list when automating your home:

Smart Door Locks

Smart door locks allow you to remotely lock or unlock your doors using your smart phone. This feature can be a highly convenient way to let visitors in when you’re not home, lock doors that you forgot to secure, and help reduce lockouts. You can also give personal access codes to pet walkers, guests and other visitors. You can even create scenes that will disarm your system when you unlock your door.

Smart Lighting

Imagine that the power of saving money on your energy bill is in the palm of your hands. With smart lighting, the dream becomes reality through home automation. Control your lights with your smart device or set them on a schedule that fits your lifestyle. Smart lighting even enables you to give the appearance that you are coming into a lit home at night if you have been away.

Smart Doorbell Camera

The smart doorbell camera is perhaps one of the most popular smart home products. That’s because they let you see and talk to your visitor without having to be home or opening the door. When you’re waiting on that package to arrive, let your smart doorbell camera be your eyes and ears while you run errands.

Smart Thermostat

The smart thermostat allows for another level of energy efficiency and the comfort of conveniently controlling the temperature of your home from your smartphone. Adding the smart thermostat to your smart home lighting package allows you to leverage the power of controlling your home’s energy ecosystem through one convenient app.

Smart Home Video Cameras

Using video cameras to capture what’s going on within and around your home can offer peace of mind. You’ll know when your kids get home, what your pets are up to and who’s at your front door. And you receive alerts from the Vector Security App when incidents occur.

Mobile Security

Give yourself the extra level of convenience and protection of being able to track and control all of the smart devices in your home with the Vector Security app. Gone are the days where you have to be home to know what’s going on. Even when you are home, the app gives you the peace of mind to know that your home is being monitored 24/7 through our monitoring center, that can dispatch emergency officials if needed.

The Benefits of Home Automation

A smart home is the most efficient when all connected devices work together seamlessly, with you at the center of command, controlling it all from one mobile app, you can create a smart home ecosystem that fits your lifestyle and budget.

For help choosing the right smart home package for you, contact us, for a professional smart home design consultation.

This content was originally published here.

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Home Security

Boundary Launch DIY Z-Wave Smart Home Security System – Automated Home

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After hitting their Kickstarter funding target in just 48 hours back in June 2019, Edinburgh-based startup Boundary have just launched their new smart home security system.

Installation & Monitoring

The DIY version of the alarm system can be self installed and with the professional installation option it can be Police monitored too.

Having passed a programme of rigorous pre compliance testing, Boundary is currently pending certification (expected to be signed off end Q1) to Grade 2 UK & European alarm testing standards, which not only means that the alarm is robust and performs reliably, but that it is also tamper-proof to would-be burglars. Grade 2 certification is also one of the requirements of insurers as well as the police for an automatic level 1 priority response.

Boundary say the alarm can be fully controlled from a smart-phone, and operates on Z-wave radio standard.

The DIY system is compatible with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. Philips Hue integration is listed on the Boundary website too and this appears to be via IFTTT rather than built in Zigbee.

It would be good to see a link up with some smart locks and Boundary say this is on their list of potential integrations to consider.

The Boundary systems uses “industry standard X.509 and TLS” for end-to-end encryption of data and promises over-the-air security updates too.

Unlike similar products of its kind, Boundary is built to last, with a lifespan of seven years. What’s more, the system uses advanced algorithms and technology to check the system remotely, including battery life (CR123A batteries) which, in the sensors, should last over a year.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen another product with such an honest statement as “lifespan of seven years”. We asked boundary what this means exactly and they told us

[The system has a] 12 month warranty, 3 year extended with Plus or Pro plan, the System is designed with 7 year minimum lifetime specification in terms of quality component selection

Boundary say their security systems will become the only smart alarm in the UK accurate enough to provide an automatic police response and the only truly ‘smart’ alarm system to meet UK and European alarm standards.

Check out the link and the video below to learn more.

Interesting that Boundary’s monitored system is priced at £25 per month. We have a monitored ADT system and that’s what their monthly charge was when it was first installed – 27 years ago. Now with regular cost of living increases it’s £47 pm! I’d been looking around for an alternative, more integrated system so this article is timely Mark . Thanks

This content was originally published here.

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99% of Security Pros Struggling to Secure Their IoT & IIoT Devices

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Organizations are increasingly introducing new Internet of Things (IoT) devices into their environments. According to Statista, the aggregate number of IoT devices deployed by organizations globally increased from 7.74 billion in 2019 to around 8.74 billion a year later. The market and consumer data firm reported that the next few years will see growth in all types of IoT devices, including Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) offerings like smart monitors. It wrote that connected devices are expected to grow from 10.07 billion in 2021 to 25.44 billion by 2030.

This growth raises an important question: how are security professionals feeling about this projected influx of IoT and IIoT devices? Do they feel confident in their ability to secure these additional products? What approaches are they using to fuel their security efforts?

To answer this question, Tripwire partnered with Dimensional Research to conduct a survey between March 3 and March 10, 2021 of individuals who were directly responsible for IoT security at their company. Their responses helped to illuminate the approaches, challenges and opinions of security professionals toward connected devices in their enterprise environments and industrial infrastructure.

Challenges with Securing Devices

Of the 312 security professionals who participated in the survey, 99% of them informed Tripwire that they had encountered challenges in the process of securing their organization’s IoT and IIoT devices. Two-thirds of those respondents said that they had experienced difficulty in their attempts to discover and remediate vulnerabilities. They were followed closely by those who encountered issues in tracking an inventory of their IoT devices (60%), validating compliance with security policies (58%), establishing secure configurations (56%) and detecting changes on those devices (55%). More than a third (37%) of security professionals also revealed that they had a hard time gathering forensic data after a detected incident.

Acknowledging those challenges, it’s not surprising that 53% of survey participants said that they were somewhat concerned about the risks associated with those devices. Another 42% of respondents indicated that they were very concerned about those security risks.

Tripwire asked those security professionals to expand upon those risks. In the process, more than three quarters of respondents clarified that they were worried their organization’s connected devices didn’t fit within their existing security approach, with 88% fearful that they would need additional resources to adequately meet the needs of their organization’s IoT and IIoT devices.  

These concerns deepened among industrial-minded survey participants. Indeed, 53% of those respondents said that they lacked the ability to fully monitor newly connected systems.

Tim Erlin, vice president of product management and strategy at Tripwire, explained that this finding highlights the need for industrial cybersecurity professionals to gain a better understanding of what’s going on in their environments:

The industrial sector is facing a new set of challenges when it comes to securing a converged IT-OT environment. In the past, cybersecurity was focused on IT assets like servers and workstations, but the increased connectivity of systems requires that industrial security professionals expand their understanding of what’s in their environment. You can’t protect what you don’t know.

Securing the Industrial Supply Chain

That wasn’t the only visibility issue that respondents brought up with Tripwire.

Indeed, 61% of industrial cybersecurity professionals said that they didn’t have visibility into the types of changes that security vendors in their supply chain might be experiencing. A majority (97%) of those survey participants said that they therefore had concerns about the security of their supply chain. More than four-fifths (87%) of them said that they were specifically worried about the supply chain security risks introduced by existing IoT and IIoT security guidelines.

Erlin wasn’t surprised to learn of this:

It’s understandable that managing supply chain risk is top of mind for industrial security teams given the level of attack we have seen this year. Large-scale supply chain risk isn’t new, so if anything, this should encourage companies to invest in resources that help maintain a more secure environment.

It appears that some companies are heeding Erlin’s advice. More than half (59%) of respondents explained that their organization’s budget for managing supply chain security had increased in the past year. That spending could support the 88% of security professionals who are already using PCI, NIST as well as other standards and frameworks to secure their supply chains. Even so, that didn’t prevent professionals in a variety of industrial sectors from stating that their organizations would benefit from expanded security industrial control systems (ICS) standards.

How Tripwire Can Help

Organizations can work with Tripwire to evaluate the security of their connected devices. Using security assessments, Tripwire can evaluate those devices for security risks and vulnerabilities that exist in those devices’ physical construction as well as for potential weaknesses in the ways in which organizations have configured them. Learn more about those assessments here.

To download the full survey results, click here: https://www.tripwire.com/misc/iot-and-iiot-cybersecurity-report

This content was originally published here.

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