Media Relations for a Connected World
Beyond the Secure RTOS– Protecting Wirelessly Connected Endpoints from Cyber-attacks
The Internet of Things continues to proliferate, with billions of new devices being connected to the Internet. The IoT is reaching into smaller and smaller devices including smart lighting systems, wearable devices, thermostats, health monitoring devices and sensors of all types. The majority of these smaller units connect either directly or indirectly to the Internet using a variety of wireless protocols including Wi-Fi, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee, Bluetooth, WiMax, cellular, Z-Wave, ANT+, etc. Many are tiny and run very low cost hardware to meet the business demands of these systems (low cost, small size and low power usage). As a result, they are very resource constrained and are not able to run a traditional operating system such as Linux, but instead run a specialized embedded operating system or RTOS (Real-time operating system).
Unsurprisingly, given the rapid deployment of new devices, vulnerabilities have been reported in many different types of devices. Internet connected light bulbs using 6LoWPAN mesh networks have been hacked, smart meters have been compromised via an optical debug port, wireless smart home devices have been compromised, Wi-Fi controlled SCADA devices have been hacked, pacemakers have been proven to be vulnerable, and a Tram control system was hijacked in Poland by a teenager using a modified TV remote control. This vulnerability resulted in the derailment of four vehicles and injuring twelve people.