Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (5-16-11): Securing the embedded Internet - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (5-16-11): Securing the embedded Internet

Embedded Newsletter for 05-16-11

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May 16, 2011

Tech Focus: Securing the embedded Internet


Internet Protocol infiltrates low-power machine-to-machine networks

Strategies for securing the smart grid

Analyzing 6LoWPAN Networks

Cloud connectivity for embedded systems

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

At the Spring 2011 ESC and more recently in columns on Embedded.com, a lot of optimism has been expressed about opportunities for developers in such Internet-connected apps such as wireless machine-to-machine control, embedded cloud computing , mobile devices , and the smart grid .

But the fly in this ointment of soothing optimism is the problem of how to secure these apps against hacker intrusions that result in lost secrets, compromised plans, and system failures. As Jack Ganssle has pointed out in “Is the SCADA infrastructure secure ?” there is still little being done to stop the hackers from tapping into industrial control networks, much less some of these newer embedded opportunities.

If you are concerned about the security implications of the nearly ubiquitous connectivity that such protocols as IPv6 and wireless technology brings to embedded systems, here are links to some recent Embedded.com design articles, white papers, webinars, and columns to help you sort through the issues and come up with solutions. Of these my Editor’s Top Picks are:

Strategies for securing the smart grid
10 things to do to secure embedded wireless devices
Bullet-proofing your software design
Situation normal, all stuxed up

Postscript: To get more visibility on Embedded.com for your new hardware and product introductions, be sure to send your press releases to Embedded.com Products Editor Toni McConnel at toni@techrite-associates.com. To submit ideas for design articles and product how-to’s contact me at bccole@acm.org.

Design How Tos

Strategies for securing the smart grid

Every embedded system on a possible cyber attack path, from the smart appliance to the smart meter to the network concentrators, must be a secure smart grid embedded system.

Building a power meter application with an 8-bit MCU

In this product how-to article Radomir Kozub describes how to use Freescale's 8-bit MC9S08LH64 to build an intelligent and accurate single-phase power metering design, while keeping a low cost bill of materials.

Securing nonvolatile, nonresettable counters in embedded designs

EEPROMs that include EPROM-emulation mode are the product of choice for implementing nonvolatile, nonresettable counters. The serial number of the memory chip can be used to detect tampering.

Securing Smart Grid devices

One way to improve smart grid security is to separate critical and confidential portions of the system from non-critical, non-confidential parts. This article describes how to accomplish this using secure hypervisors and virtualization.

Smart management is the key to smart grid meter security

Addressing the security of meters in emerging smart grid applications requires a secret key management strategy that does not store keys on any node, authenticates each node, verifies communications, and uses temporary communication keys that are rotated often.

Secure access key control through challenge & response

In this Product How-To, Maxim's Bernhard Linke examines keys for physical access control, evaluating them for their strengths and weaknesses and details how the company's MCU-based challenge & response key ICs can be used to overcome the limitations of static data keys.

Addressing the challenges of smart utility meter design

This article highlights some of the major issues of metering and proposes the means to achieve the intended goals by making the designer aware of the challenges beforehand.

10 things to consider when securing an embedded 802.11 Wi-Fi device

Timothy Stapko details some of the factors to evaluate when securing an embedded 802.11 wireless device

Bullet-proofing your software design

Applying secure programming standards and methodology can reduce vulnerabilities in software.

Securing SoC Platform Oriented Architectures with a hardware Root of Trust

As platform-oriented-architecture-based devices incorporate the product feature and service configuration and management the need to secure them and the systems they support makes a hardware-based “root of trust” a critical requirement.

Clearing up the mesh about wireless networking topologies: Part 2

A two part series updates you on wireless mesh networking, comparing traditional approaches such as Zigbee to more deterministic topolologies such as Wireless HART, 6LowWPAN, and adhoc on demand vector routing (AODV). Part 2: Comparing the alternatives.

Securing your USB transmission

As more and more embedded designs move toward communicating with computers, there is a growing demand for USB connectivity. USB doesn't have a built in security mechanism for securing the data communicated on the bus. For some applications, this might be a concern.

Embedded Systems Conference Chicago

Register today for the Embedded Systems Conference Chicago in June for the most complete embedded conference this summer!

Attend and be part of the most valuable and efficient professional development you will experience all year. See, learn and get hands-on training on emerging embedded products and technologies.

In-depth conference tracks:
Designing for embedded Linux or Android
Graphics, displays, and lighting
Medical systems
Networking and connectivity
Open-source software
Project management
Real-time system development
Robotics and motion control
Safety and security in a Stuxnet world
Software debugging techniques

This year, ESC Chicago is bigger, better and more exciting than ever with 3 days of comprehensive training and an expansive expo floor.

Highlights include:

For more information on ESC Chicago 2011, including registration, please visit our web site: esc.eetimes.com/chicago


ESC: New INSIDE Secure MCU for USB tokens is secure, cost-optimized, and has wide temp range

INSIDE Secure has introduced the AT90SO72, a secure, embedded microcontroller (MCU) tailored to meet the needs of USB authentication token applications.

Cloud-based M2M platform connects multiple business processes

he Viewbiquity Cloud Interface (VCI) is a unique M2M platform that seamlessly connects multiple business processes, including property management, energy, voice, data and video communications, inventory management, IT infrastructure and tracking.

ESC: Express Logic introduces memory-protected application modules for ThreadX RTOS

Express Logic, Inc., has introduced ThreadX RTOS Memory Protection for downloadable application modules, and will be displaying them at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, booth 1729. Downloadable application modules, introduced earlier this year, enable ThreadX-based applications to execute functions dynamically loaded from local mass storage or a network.

SmartMX2 microcontrollers ready for secure multi-applications

The SmartMX2 family of secure microcontrollers from NXP Semiconductors are built on IntegralSecurity to be suitable for applications such as eGovernment, banking, PayTV, mobile transactions, public transport, access management and device authentication.

Reference design forms secure, wireless keyless entry systems

Semtech and Microchip have teamed up to deliver a turnkey reference design platform that integrates Semtech ISM-band transmitter and transceivers with Microchip KEELOQ encryption software and PIC microcontrollers for highly secure, multi-band wireless remote keyless entry systems.

Reference design provides AES encryption over USB

Algotronix Ltd. (Edinburgh, Scotland) has a reference design that provides Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) which provides an interface to Altera's NIOS II soft processor that works with the G3 core to provide AES encryption and decryption of files passed over a USB 2 interface.

News & Analysis

Security penetrates the clouds

Information technology security provider SafeNet recently adapted its encryption, authentication and virtualization security suites to run on cloud computers.

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