Hacker Duet Exposes More Problems in Vehicular IoT

The hacker duo who exposed the original dangers of jeep hacking for WIRED magazine a year ago, has done it again. The duo whose main purpose is to help reduce the dangers that people face thanks to connected driving devices.

This arsenal of attacks could potentially prove fatal if the technology were to get in the hands of someone else. In their latest effort, they show how quickly a Jeep can be controlled from outside of the vehicle, and how during normal driving conditions, they can cause the wheel to jerk to one side and cause a person to veer into other lanes of traffic to their death.

While some may take fear from these presentations, others look at them as a new understanding of the internet of things. With the revelations so far, Chrysler has taken the time to fix the coding work. This helps to close additional avenues. Although, it doesn’t mean everything is out of the woods just yet. As long as there are hackers, there will be someone who is vested in finding security flaws that will allow them to gain control of a device. While some of the security flaws may lead to minor annoyances like messing with the clock in the vehicle, or the radio changing channels, it can be worse.

In this case, the duo have used new technology and techniques that are still allowing them to bypass the safeguards in place, so they are able to prove just how dangerous this technology is. This information can then be utilized by Chrysler, and other companies that utilize the internet of things, so that they can help to reduce any future danger to the consumers who purchase their products. The dup go a step further and pinpoints for the manufacturer what is happening and why it is happening. That way, when they write future code they are able to create a solution that provides safety.

What’s Coming in 2016 IoT Devices?

It’s no secret that IoT, IoT devices and data are changing dramatically. Industry experts believe that 2016 is going to be a year of action and change as trends move forward dramatically. Technology changes are happening faster than many companies can react or adapt to them. Data Security, IoT Security, Cloud computing and mobile computing are where the top changes are expected to be.

MobileIron’s VP of strategy says that we can expect to see dramatic changes in every area of computing. Ojas Rege says “2016 will be a challenging year for IT devices as mobile and cloud force CIOs to adopt a more agile model of information security, policy design, technology evaluation, and lifecycle management,” “2015 saw more mobile malware than ever before, with a string of exploits such as Stagefright, KeyRaider, XcodeGhost, and YiSpecter. In 2016, we will see hackers continue to figure out clever ways to make apps appear “trusted,” Rege believes. “As a result, expect that Apple in particular will continue to shut down untrusted ways of distributing apps to devices, such as side-loading, and become much stricter about controlling the use of private APIs.”

Nearly every security specialist believes that two things will change in IoT in 2016 that are more important than any other. These two things will pave the way forward for IoT.

Customers are going to insist on better applications for use. Customers are insisting on applications that are proven secure, rather than put together in rapid and insecure ways.

In spite of all of the attention that it’s getting, the IoT is at this moment in time more experimental than end run perfection. Every vendor is striving for IoT perfection but some of them aren’t even sure what it is.

Companies are all seeking to ride the wave of IoT but many are not sure how to accomplish that and aren’t certain whether or not they are on the right pathway. Rege believes that by the end of 2016, companies are going to change how they view IoT and realize that it is not a game, but an imperative for any company that is going to move forward. He states that “A set of high-value IoT use cases will emerge, and vendors will enter 2017 with the ability to deliver commercially useful solutions.”

Rege believes—and most companies believe along with him, that Iot energy, security, and innovation are going to be necessary parts of the computing landscape in 2016. The enterprise requires developers of IoT to completely rethink the business and IoT processes rather than just porting apps to Iot platforms that are not secure and not worthwhile. The users of today are rapidly growing tired of hearing that their application or their IoT product has been found to be insecure. It has changed their trust in the products and will continue to do so in a way that will prevent them from using IoT devices that have not been proven to be secure.

Rapid changes in technology, user demands and methodology changes and the need for more secure IoT and mobile applications mean that companies are going to need talented developers and security personnel in IoT on a level not previously seen.

Where is your company so far as IoT development and what kind of plans have you made for the changing IoT landscape in 2016?

Ten Great DIY/IoT Concepts That Are Here Now

The meaning behind the letters in DIY are readily understood by people. IoT does not immediately spark recognition…yet. IoT stands for “Internet of Things” and refers to the amazing connection between various devices as well as connecting things via the internet. Since the world is becoming rapidly more technologically reliant, it makes sense designers would develop new ways to connect various technologies together.

Can DIY and IoT be fused together? Absolutely! Here are ten truly awesome DIY IoT projects:

Build a Robot

Who wouldn’t want their own robot? Okay, but how do you build one? No one needs to dream of classic science-fiction works such as I Robot anymore to figure out the answer. Windows IoT allows for easily building a mini-robot – a start.

Drone via Voice

The uses for Amazon’s Echo technology is far more diverse than people realize. The technology can be integrated into drone’s allowing for the voice command of the flying device. Just don’t go hoarse trying to use it.

Maintain a Weather Station

Data about the weather comes from all sorts of different sources. Combining all those sources into one central data hub makes it easier to get weather stats without fishing all over the internet.

Keeping Tabs on a Car

It would be tough to steal a car if the engine was remotely shut off. A new smartphone app can control the engine ignition, air conditioner, and, in time, more. Real-time tracking of where the car is could aid in tracking the vehicle down if someone absconds with it.

Auto-Tinting for Windows

Sensors built into the windows control the tinting of the windows when a bit too much hit warms up the surface. Once the tint darkens, heat is kept out and comfort is boosted.

Facial Recognition Door Locks

Remember the talking door knocker from The Wizard of Oz? A modern high-tech version has emerged. By utilizing advanced facial recognition software produced by Microsoft, a door’s lock can open for those it recognizing. No more stumbling for keys after this system is set up.

Animal Attack Wi-Fi

This is an intriguing concept, but one people might not want to try for themselves. Adding a device capable of hacking Wi-Fi to a dog or cat’s collar is innovative, but doing so may get you in trouble.

The Magic Mirror

A fairy tale can come true in the form of a talking mirror. Building up a smart mirror allow it to display more than a reflection. The mirror can present all manner of different data including weather, news feeds, and more.

Helping Animal Life in Rivers and Streams

Microsoft Azure can track the temperatures of creeks, streams, and more allowing the system to aid in reintroducing Salmon to the waters and maintaining a proper ecosystem.

Automatic Car Wreck Response

Wow – this one could literally be a lifesaver. A communications system is hooked up to a car and, when an accident occurs, first responders are notified immediately. Such a system could help in a multitude of different serious scenarios.

These 10 are only the beginning of what is sure to be an extremely long list. A lot of DIY IoT greatness is sure to emerge in time.

Connected Motorcycles and IoT

Connected Motorcycles and IoT The Internet of Things

Connected cars are becoming more common these days, but only in the past few years has the IoT expanded its horizons to other vehicles. A California based company, Zero Motorcycles produced a prototype of its first electric motorcycle in 2006 and began marketing them in 2008. In 2013 the company produced a mobile app enabling communication with the bike using Bluetooth; effectively using the Internet of Things to connect owner, motorcycle, and service facility.

The app allows the rider to configure his or her motorcycle in a number of different ways. For example, it can be configured for a more energy efficient ride or for a higher performance using only the app. One of the rider benefits is that the app can also tell you your current battery capacity as well as an estimation of how far you can travel on the charge.

Another boon to riders is that the motorcycle can communicate directly to the manufacturer, dealer, or repair shop. Most vehicles today can communicate with the mechanic by being plugged into a computer, but it entails a trip to the garage. The available app allows the motorcycle to send that diagnostic information directly to the mechanic over the internet no matter where you are. Anyone who has ever paid to have a vehicle diagnosed via a garage computer can appreciate the value of this particular feature.

In addition, if a rider experiences mechanical problems with the motorcycle, all they need do is to tap the help button located in the app. The information is transmitted and the rider can get troubleshooting advice on location as well as having the company schedule a service appointment if desired. Rather than taking days to get your motorcycle into a mechanic for diagnosis, it is all done in minutes. The company currently has four models of connected motorcycles on the market, including bikes that are designed specifically for law enforcement and military use.

With all of the information being passed back and forth online, many potential users (myself included) will have concerns about security, and rightly so. According to Zero’s director of customer experience, Aaron Cheatham, security is always the company’s top priority. To ensure the privacy of both customer and data, access to the bike is curtailed through the use of a short range Bluetooth connection. In Cheatham’s own words, “A user must have physical access to the motorcycle to pair the mobile device to the bike and enable the communication.” The logs that are taken from the motorcycle are then sent in a format that is proprietary and to review them requires a decoder.

As more of our daily life is handled by computers, it’s easy to dwell on the things that could potentially go wrong. While those things are always possible, you should also think of the benefits that we as a society can reap. This single application of the Internet of Things may provide benefits that range from a reduction in motorcycle fatalities to a more energy efficient future.

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