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CYBER-KINETIC SECURITY

5G Connectivity Security
The timeline of human history is marked by inflection points of major technological advancement. The plow, the printing press, the telegraph, the steam engine, electricity, the telephone, the internet: each of these breakthroughs precipitated tectonic shifts in how people lived and worked. Now, in the early part of the 21st century, we stand witness to the birth of a new industrial revolution built on 5th generation cellular technology - 5G network. As the name implies, 5G network follows a developmental chain. First came 1G, the first generation of cellular communication that freed us to make voice calls without being tethered...
NFC Cybersecurity
NFC is a short range two-way wireless communication technology that enables simple and secure communication between electronic devices embedded with NFC microchip. NFC technology operates in 13.56 megahertz and supports 106, 212, or 424 Kbps throughput. There are three available modes of NFC communication: Read/write (e.g. for reading tags in NFC posters) Card emulation (e.g. for making payments) Peer-to-peer (e.g. for file transfers) There is no need for pairing code between devices, because once in range they instantly start communication and prompt the user. NFC technology is power efficient - much more than other wireless technologies. The communication range of NFC is approximately...
IIoT 5G Trust Security
When microwave ovens first arrived on the market in 1967 they were met with public skepticism. Perhaps it was because, not long before, the same technology now promising to safely cook consumers’ evening meals was the backbone of a military radar. Perhaps it was the $495 price tag (more than $3,700 in today’s money). Whatever the reason, in the early 1970s the percentage of Americans owning a microwave was tiny. By 2011, it was 97%. What changed? Trust and convenience. When microwave technology was first released, it was difficult to trust. Cooking without using heat? It was simply too alien. In 1973,...
LoRaWAN IoT Security
I get accused of focusing too much on 5G as the only future IoT connectivity option. I do write a lot about how 5G will revolutionize our society, become the most critical of critical infrastructures and about security threats with 5G. I see 5G, with its low latency, high bandwidth, network slicing and ubiquitous coverage becoming the foundational capability for mission critical industrial, agricultural, financial, medical, education, energy and transportation, even military and emergency services IoT communication needs. That’s not to say that 5G is the only IoT connectivity option. There are plenty of others. IoT applications have some common requirements...
Cyber-War
“Cyber war” is a term that is in recent days used so liberally that people may often wonder if these words are as menacing as they sound or used only as a tool to incite fear as a way to control a society that increasingly depends on technology. How we prepare and respond to cyber attacks depends on whether we believe we are in cyber war. It influences how we estimate the risks, potential impacts, or insurance premiums. Preparation for and response to cyber war implies government involvement and that might mean handing over the control of our networks to...
5g cybersecurity safety
Neil Harbisson calls himself a cyborg. Without the antenna implanted in his skull, he would not be able to see colour of any kind. Born with achromatopsia, a condition of total colourblindness that affects 1 in every 30 000 people, Harbisson's physical faculties are augmented by cyber technology to grant him access to a life of greater meaning and satisfaction. As technological evolution leads to concomitant advances in medical science, we are seeing more and more examples of humans who are integrating devices and sensors into their biological makeup. For some, like those part of the growing "transhumanist" movement, this...
5G Critical Infrastructure
Not even 30 years separate us from the end of the Cold War. Yet, we appear to be witnessing the emergence of a new one, a technology Cold War between the United States and China. This time, instead of a ‘red under the bed’, the US government has declared there is one at the back door. It accuses Chinese technology companies of deliberately building vulnerabilities into their tech, allowing the Chinese to access and control the 5G critical infrastructure, and through it the connected devices and machinery at will. Headlines are dominated by the case against Huawei, and debate continues...
Zigbee Security
Zigbee technology introduction Zigbee is wireless PAN (Personal Area Network) technology developed to support automation, machine-to-machine communication, remote control and monitoring of IoT devices. It evolved from IEEE 802.15.4 wireless standard and supported by the ZigBee Alliance. IEEE 802.15.4 standard determines specifications for the physical and data link layer and Zigbee Alliance provides standards from network layer to application layer. While Zigbee determines the contents of the transmitted message, the 802.15.4 standard provides details about the robust radio communication and medium access control. The Zigbee Alliance, as a non-profit association, develops open global Zigbee standard for use in the Internet of Things...
Smart Home Wireless Connectivity
In a recent session on smart building cybersecurity, a student cheekily asked me "How did we ever connect anything before 5G?" At that moment I realized I might have been overdoing my 5G cheerleading recently. To atone, here are the key performance and cybersecurity attributes of the most commonly used connectivity technologies in smart home / smart building use cases... And 5G. If you thought that the "traditional" home life is under heavy attack from digitization of media and constant communication, wait until you learn about the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Homes. Our most personal spaces - our homes...
Cyber-Kinetic Railway
In their growing efforts to increase efficiencies through digitization and automation, railways are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber-kinetic attacks as they move away from strictly mechanical systems and bespoke standalone systems to digital, open-platform, standardized equipment built using Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) components. In addition, the increasing use of networked control and automation systems enable remote access of public and private networks. Finally, the large geographical spread of railway systems, involving multiple providers and even multiple countries, and the vast number of people involved in operating and maintaining those widespread systems offer attackers an almost unlimited number of attack...
Cybersecurity IoT 5G Cyber-Kinetic Risks
Getting smart about security in smart systems Smart used to be something we called people or pets. It wasn't a term one would use to describe one's hairbrush. That is changing, of course, in an era of accelerating digital transformation. Now we have smart homes, smart cities, smart grids, smart refrigerators and, yes, even smart hairbrushes. What's not so smart, though, is the way the cybersecurity and cyber-kinetic security risks of these systems are often overlooked, and with new horizon technologies like 5G, these problems are set to grow exponentially. Cyber-physical systems and the smartification of our world Cyber-connected objects have become...
Cyber-Kinetic Security Railway
Cybersecuring railway systems from potential attackers must become paramount in the digitization that those systems currently undergo. Their cybersecurity is too closely interlinked with the railway safety to leave the door open to disruption. To make matters worse, they are increasingly being targeted. Railway systems have long been critical. Mass transit systems move hundreds of thousands of people throughout urban areas each work day. Freight systems move an estimated 40 tons of freight for every person in the U.S. every year. Imagine the chaos if they were disrupted. These systems have always been challenging to secure. Even urban mass transit systems...
Regulation IoT 5G Cybersecurity
In one of those strange inversions of reason, The Internet of Things (IoT) arguably began before the Internet itself. In 1980, a thirsty graduate in Carnegie Mellon University’s computer science department, David Nichols, eventually grew tired of hiking to the local Coca Cola vending machine only to find it empty or stocked entirely with warm cola. So, Nichols connected the machine to a network and wrote a program that updated his colleagues and him on cola stock levels. The first IoT device was born. Things have moved on somewhat. Today, the world is home to 8 billion connected devices or “things”, with...
Maritime Cyber-Kinetic
The maritime industry faces a not-so-distant future when ships will be completely autonomous, using navigation data that they receive to plot their own courses with only minimal input from shoreside control centers. The efficiencies this could bring are massive, but before this happens, cybersecurity issues must be addressed. Not only are many vessels configured in ways that invite cyberattacks, but security practices also need to be improved before the industry can safely navigate its future. An increasingly digitized maritime industry A fleet of 250 autonomous vessels may launch soon. And that would be only the beginning, according to McKinsey and Co....
NATO 5G Security Geopolitics
On 14th March 2019, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the launch of his Annual Report for 2018 touched on security and geopolitical concerns of 5G (full transcript here). Stoltenberg said that allies are "...consulting closely on this issue, including on the security aspects on investments in 5G networks." The Secretary General acknowledged that “NATO allies have expressed their concerns over Huawei and their role in providing 5G infrastructure” and added “NATO takes these concerns very seriously.” “We will now assess the issue and find out how NATO, in the best way possible, can address the challenges in terms of investments into...