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Wi-Fi hacking will move to Zigbee, Bluetooth and Sigfox says WatchGuard

By Zenobia Hegde

The commoditisation of wireless attack tools is driving Wi-Fi hackers to focus their attention on intercepting and decoding traffic from wireless devices based on protocols such as Zigbee, Sigfox and Bluetooth along with RFID, LoRa, and 802.11 variations, according to researchers at WatchGuard Technologies.

WatchGuard believes that the same trends that spurred the expansion of Wi-Fi hacking are now beginning to impact criminal activities involving other wireless standards and products, ranging from cars to gas and water meters, personal health devices and alarm systems.

“Wi-Fi attack tools with simple user interfaces such as the Wi-Fi Pineapple by Hack5 made it possible for amateurs to perform advanced Wi-Fi attacks and there are now some 3 million ‘how to’ videos online for performing man-in-the-middle attacks on 802.11 networks,” said Corey Nachreiner, CTO at WatchGuard. “These new attack trends focused on the likes of Zigbee, Bluetooth and Sigfox are possible due to the affordability and availability of software defined radios (SDRs), which allow a device to talk and listen to a very broad range of wireless frequencies.”

SDR-based attack tools such as the HackRF One by Great Scott Gadgets have already been introduced to the market and there is a growing community of YouTube videos, with ‘how to’ topics ranging from unlocking luxury car doors to spoofing GPS signals.

“With demand for wirelessly connected devices continuing to grow sharply and equipment vendors incorporating wireless connectivity into a variety of products we can expect to see new attacks leveraging SDR technology in 2018,” says Nachreiner.

See the WatchGuard prediction videos here.

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Internet of Things Platforms and Projects: 3 Programming Languages Worth Knowing

By Ashish Trikha

Click to learn more about author Ashish Trikha. Love it or hate it, but the Internet of Things (IoT) is not going away anytime soon. In recent times, the Internet of Things has permeated our day to day lives to improve the way we live, the way we work, and the way we entertain. In […]

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Renesas Electronics accelerates industrial ethernet application development with new RZ/N1 solution kit

By Zenobia Hegde

Renesas Electronics, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced the availability of the new RZ/N1 microprocessor (MPU) Solution Kit designed to support various industrial network applications including programmable logic controllers (PLCs), intelligent network switches, gateways, operator terminals and remote I/O solutions.

The new RZ/N1 Solution Kit is a complete development package that includes the hardware and software to enable faster prototyping of industrial Ethernet protocols such as EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP™, ETHERNET Powerlink, PROFINET, Sercos, and CANopen, thereby accelerating development and saving up to six months of industrial network protocol integration into customers’ applications.

The new kit includes a CPU development board based on the RZ/N1S MPU. In addition, a comprehensive software package is included with all the drivers and middleware, sample protocol stacks, U-Boot and Linux-based BSP, a unique inter-processor communication software, and even a user-friendly PinMuxing tool that can generate C-code header files that removes the complexity of pin configuration. The various software and sample code provides customers with a complete set of tools and frameworks to build their own application without any additional up-front costs or complexity.

Key features of the new RZ/N1 solution kit:

Enhanced operating system flexibility

Developers can now evaluate using the operating system (OS) ThreadX® for the applications subsystem, in addition to Linux that is already supported by the RZ/N1. This enables system developers to choose an OS depending on their specific application requirements. Both OS options support the leading industrial Ethernet protocols that have been implemented on RZ/N1.

Linux: A widely used OS with a very large knowledge base community. For Yocto based Linux development, Renesas provides the respective Yocto recipes to build the Linux, U-Boot and root file system. Using Qt abstracted set of APIs, GUI applications can also be developed and ported to different targets.

ThreadX: Renesas provides a sample reference port of Express Logic’s X-Ware IoT platform powered by ThreadX on the application subsystem. ThreadX is designed specifically for deeply embedded, real-time, and IoT applications. It provides advanced scheduling, communication, synchronisation, timer, memory management, and interrupt management facilities.

Enables PLC programming compatible with IEC 61131-3 by CODESYS

The new solution kit allows evaluation of CODESYS, a hardware independent IEC 61131-3 development system for programming and creating programmable logic controller (PLC) applications. Among others it supports Industrial Ethernet master stacks for EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, Sercos, CANOpen and PROFINET.

Furthermore, the embedded LCD controller featured in the RZ/N1D makes great use of the CODESYS target visualisation tool, enabling product development with graphical visualisation screens. Having CODESYS support enables the device to be either a protocol slave device but also as a master, which highlights the flexibility of the RZ/N1 Group MPUs.


The enhanced RZ/N1 Solution Kit for the RZ/N1D and RZ/N1S Groups of MPUs are available now through Renesas Electronics and representative distributor partners. The solution kit for the RZ/N1L is scheduled to be available in 1H 2018. The kit includes a variety of sample applications, development tools, drivers as well as evaluation versions of the protocol stacks for faster prototyping and integration.

Renesas will demonstrate the new kit at SPS IPC Drives 2017 (stand 130 in Hall […]

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Hyperconvergence and computation at the edge: Part 3

By Zenobia Hegde

The adoption of edge and fog computing models is enabling enhanced efficiency, says Bob Emmerson. Data is generated at the edge and bringing processing power close to the source generates real-time information on which informed decisions and actions can be taken. This is an established trend that companies like VMware and Eurotech are advancing.

VMware provides a software-defined approach to hyperconvergence. It employs a hypervisor, aka a virtual machine monitor, in order to create and run virtual machines that deliver compute, storage and management in a tightly integrated software stack. Eurotech is an established supplier of enterprise-class Industrial IoT solutions that combine the company’s strengths on the Operational Technology (OT) side with the Information Technology (IT) expertise of ecosystem partners.

In the context of the trend towards edge computing, the two organisations have developed technology that employs VMware virtualisation technology, taking it from its regular role in the data centre / cloud and extending the benefits out to the edge of the OT network.

This development raises the hyperconvergence bar. The consolidation of functional elements in data centres at the hypervisor level, together with federated management, reduces inefficiencies and minimises the total cost of ownership of the underlying IT infrastructure. In order to provide similar benefits at the edge, Eurotech has signalled plans to market edge server and IoT gateway products that are pre-installed with VMware virtualisation technology.

The implementation of VMware hypervisor technology on transportation-grade hardware, e.g. Eurotech’s rail certified fan-less edge server platform, was demonstrated at the VMworld 2017 Events in Las Vegas and Barcelona.

The planned products also address application scenarios where multiple computer systems are deployed, each of which enables a specific OT solution. These systems will typically involve different hardware and software implementations, which will inevitably result in logistic and support problems, thereby reducing operational performance and increasing maintenance costs.

Employing virtualisation technology at the edge addresses these issues by reducing the effort and cost for managing and maintaining the various systems. Typical multiple computer systems range from demanding transportation solutions such as rolling stock, construction & mining machines, marine vessels, smart energy / smart grid and retail.

That was a short take on a development that looks set to play a significant role on the OT side of hyperconverged infrastructures. That said, it is work in progress and we will surely see similar but alternative concepts. For example, in the next blog which focuses on secondary storage, dedicated OT hardware products at the edge are replaced by hyperconverged nodes running vSphere, which is VMware’s cloud computing virtualisation platform.

The author of this blog is Bob Emmerson, freelance IoT writer and commentator.

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Makeblock Kickstarts Smart Robot Codey Rocky for Beginner Coding and AI Learning

By IoT – Internet of Things

Makeblock, the world leading STEAM education solution provider, today launched its latest smart robot – Codey Rocky on Kickstarter. Integrated with cutting-edge technologies like AI and IoT, Codey Rocky is the perfect affordable programmable robot for beginner coders aged 6+, offering a great way to introduce children to the basics of programming like Scratch 3.0, Python and […]

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Garmin and NXT-ID Subsidiary FitPay Announce Garmin Pay Now Live on Garmin vívoactive 3 Smartwatch

By IoT – Internet of Things

Garmin International, Inc. and Fit Pay, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of NXT-ID, Inc. recently announce that the Garmin PayTM contactless payment feature is now live on Garmin’s vívoactive 3 smartwatch and available to cardholders of issuing banks supporting the new service. The new feature on Garmin’s latest smartwatch enables consumers to make highly secure […]

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TRENDnet Cameras Still Have Gaping Security Holes, 3 Years After FTC Settlement

By Robert Hackett

A bird’s-eye view of a playground. The inside of a convenience store. The entrance to a home.

All of these scenes, recorded live by Internet-connected surveillance cameras, have been open to snooping by even the most novice hackers, say researchers at Refirm Labs, a new startup founded by ex-National Security Agency workers. Anyone could remotely view these and scores of other remote locales through a vulnerability affecting certain surveillance cameras manufactured by TRENDnet, a California-based gadget-maker, they said.

Refirm is set to disclose this and other critical vulnerabilities affecting other devices, such as TRENDnet and Belkin routers as well as Dahua security cameras, on Wednesday. The company previewed its findings exclusively with Fortune in the lead-up to their publication.

“I wouldn’t even call this a hack because it doesn’t take any sophistication,” said Terry Dunlap, cofounder and CEO of Refirm, about the vulnerability, which affects TRENDnet’s TV-IP344PI camera model. Tuning into these cameras’ video feeds requires neither authorization nor authentication, but merely the knowledge of a device’s IP address, an easily obtained bit of identifying information, Dunlap said.

The findings call into question whether Trendnet has been taking the security of its products seriously enough in the wake of a 2014 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that found its security to be lax. Trendnet was forced to abide by tightened regulatory standards–bolstering its information security program and submitting to regular security audits–after a severe vulnerability allowed attackers to monitor and expose hundreds of video feeds from faulty cameras.

The latest version of the TRENDnet camera still has flaws that allow attackers to gain total control of a given camera, to use it to launch other attacks, to “brick” or destroy it, to meddle with its video outputs, or to install new programming instructions on it, the researchers said.

You can watch a demonstration of how hackers can take advantage of some of the bugs here.

TRENDnet was notified of the vulnerabilities this week, Dunlap said.

We have just received this report, and TRENDnet is currently reviewing it to validate the authenticity of each claim,” said Emily Chae, a spokesperson for TRENDnet, in an email to Fortune on Tuesday. “All TRENDnet products are tested by an internal audit team, and TRENDnet cameras go under further testing by a leading 3rd party security group. We will release a patch soon for any confirmed vulnerabilities.”

Other findings by Refirm included security holes in Belkin routers (model F9K1124v1), TRENDnet routers (TEW-816DRM), and a Dahua security camera (IPC-HDW4300S). The bugs could allow hackers to hijack devices, to meddle with their inner workings, to siphon data from networks, or to burrow deeper inside of them, the researchers said.

Dunlap’s team notified Belkin about the vulnerabilities affecting its products in two reports released in June and Oct. by his previous company, Tactical Network Solutions. Belkin released patches soon after.

“All three vulnerabilities have been addressed and we recommend that Belkin customers update their routers to this latest firmware,” said Karen Sohl, a spokesperson for Belkin.

Like TRENDnet, Dahua is only just learning about the issues affecting their products. Refirm is urging people to avoid Dahua’s products entirely, since it says many of them include hardcoded credentials that allow anyone to tamper with a device’s firmware or install backdoors.

The Refirm team provocatively suggested that this may have been done intentionally.

“This vulnerability is not the result of an accidental logic error or poor programming practice, but rather an intentional backdoor placed into the product by the vendor,” the researchers wrote. “Given that many other Dahua products contain this exact same backdoor, we strongly recommend against connecting any Dahua products to critical or sensitive networks.”

Refirm didn’t explain why Dahua would want to such a thing, and Dahua did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

In most cases, Dunlap says, “if developers implemented secure coding practices from the very start, a significant number of IoT [Internet of Things] attacks would not exist today.”

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Where patches are not available, as is the case for TRENDnet and Dahua, Refirm advises people to sequester their cameras and routers away from internal networks, to limit their access to sensitive resources, or to remove them entirely until further notice.

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Orange Healthcare and Sanoïa endorse the use of machine learning to monitor chronic inflammatory rheumatism

By Zenobia Hedge

Orange Healthcare, Sanoïa and the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris demonstrate that flare-ups in inflammatory rheumatism (rheumatoid arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis) can be detected using an activity tracker combined with machine learning technology.

At the Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology which took place in San Diego from November 3–8, 2017, Sanoïa and Orange Healthcare took part in a scientific presentation in collaboration with professor Laure Gossec, from the rheumatology department at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris: an analysis of 15 million information points from a cohort of 170 patients monitored over 3 months, conducted by machine learning (Act-Connect study).

Data scientists at Orange Labs used an in-house machine learning tool (Khiops ©) to develop a model that detects flare-ups in the condition with a reliability rate of 96%.

A promising trial

Using and analysing anonymised data gathered from connected medical objects, the results of this trial were very promising. According to Élie Lobel, CEO of Orange Healthcare: “The conclusions of this study are the result of cross-fertilisation of expertise from industry, clinical research (CRO) and health professionals, demonstrating our ability to accelerate the development of services adapted to the monitoring of chronic diseases.” This technique illustrates how artificial intelligence can be used in the healthcare domain.

It can contribute to:

The care system: it enables closer monitoring of the patient, through telemedicine or the scheduling of appointments around the activity of the disease,
Clinical research: it offers continuous and real-time access to certain patient data. This data indicates the frequency of flare-ups and acts as a measure of the effectiveness of drugs in rheumatology.

Élie Lobel

Professor Laure Gossec says: “putting the patient at the centre of their care is our priority. Having access to digital tools that are easy to use, which can quantify a patient’s everyday experience and transform them into clinical indicators is extremely innovative.”

“The healthcare ecosystem has long sought to rely on connected objects, so as to be able to take full advantage of the data they provide in a medical context, as a source of information and predictability. This trial, which combines agility with scientific rigor, demonstrates how this is feasible in practical terms. We will now incorporate these outcomes in the Digital CRO we offer to sponsors of research,” concludes Hervé Servy, CEO of Sanoïa.

Find out more about machine learning here.

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Juniper Networks disrupts optical market with industry’s first open, disaggregated optical line System

By Zenobia Hedge

Juniper Networks, a provider in automated, scalable and secure networks, became the first networking vendor to announce it is disaggregating optical line system hardware from network control software, rolling out a new optical solution that brings unprecedented levels of flexibility, cost control and multi-layer visibility to packet-optical transport.

Juniper’s end-to-end metro packet transport portfolio gives service providers the necessary building blocks to deploy new services built on cloud, 5G, IoT, multi-gigabit broadband and other advanced technologies.

Closed, proprietary optical-transport networks that bind the transponder, optical line system and control software together significantly hinder service providers’ ability to deploy an agile service delivery model. Juniper’s new cloud-grade solution, including an open, programmable optical line system, as well as a microservices-based management and control platform, allows operators to deploy any transponder solution to keep costs down, optimise the photonic layer control plane, and maintain unmatched service continuity.

Aligning with Juniper’s Cloud-Grade Networking initiative announced in June, the company’s Programmable Photonic Layer open line system features the new TCX1000 Series Programmable ROADM.

Combining open, standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs), the new proNX optical director management and control platform makes it easier for customers to deploy coherent DWDM transponders – whether from Juniper, a service provider or third parties. Taking this platform-first approach, Juniper customers can rest assured they are operating a future-proof system, free from vendor lock-in.

News highlights:

Juniper programmable photonic layer featuring the new TCX1000 series programmable ROADM: Part of a complete open line system solution, the TCX1000 Programmable ROADM, enabled by Lumentum, is a colorless, directionless, flex-grid ready programmable ROADM that allows operators to seamlessly upgrade to emerging high-capacity bit rates – 100G, 200G, 400G and beyond – without having to upgrade line system hardware. Operators can now confidently disaggregate the line system hardware from the transponder layer and from the photonic layer control plane to better optimise the network for use cases such as data centre interconnect.
proNX optical director microservices-based optical network management and control software platform: Building on the strengths of proNX service manager’s automated service activation and network management capabilities, proNX Optical Director uses a microservices-based architecture to enable operators to scale more effectively and simply integrate customer and third-party applications in an agile operational environment. Additionally, proNX Optical director uses a standards-based YANG API to integrate seamlessly with Juniper Networks® NorthStar Controller, providing full network visibility and coordination from Layer 0 to Layer 3.

Donyel Jones-Williams

Donyel Jones-Williams, director of Service Provider Portfolio Marketing, Juniper Networks says,“The continuously evolving dynamics presented by the cloud requires that all elements of the network be agile, open and easily disaggregated – and Juniper is ensuring that the optical layer follows suit. Closed systems that prevent true agility abound, but Juniper understands the importance of disaggregation and we’re excited to give customers the power to move faster within the cloud era with a true turnkey solution for end-to-end packet optical network operation.”

“Network operators require flexible, disaggregated optical line solutions supporting best-of-breed coherent modules. With the Programmable Photonic Layer and proNX Optical director, Juniper becomes the first vendor to offer centralised, disaggregated open optical line system control software from the network […]

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Yokogawa to conduct PoC test of remote pump monitoring service using its IIoT architecture

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announced that it has begun working with Iwaki Co., Ltd. on a proof-of-concept (PoC) test for a remote pump monitoring service. This service will use an Industrial IoT (IIoT) architecture that is currently under development by Yokogawa. The PoC test will examine the market potential for such a service and investigate means by which it may be offered.

Yokogawa has exhibited and demonstrated a prototype version of this service at the IoT Solutions World Congress 2017, which was held in Barcelona, Spain on October 3. Yokogawa will also appear at the IoT Korea Exhibition 2017, which will be held in Seoul, South Korea starting October 11.

About This Service

Yokogawa and Iwaki will jointly conduct a PoC test of a service for remotely monitoring the operating status of Iwaki magnetic drive pumps which are widely used in chemical, pharmaceutical, and food plants for the transport of various types of fluids. The centrifugal pump in which the rotational force of a motor is transmitted to an impeller using magnetic force, eliminating the need for a seal to prevent the leakage of fluid. The wetted part is coated with either Teflon or silicon carbide and is chemical resistant.

With this service, operating data such as the current being drawn by a pump, pump discharge pressure and flow rate, temperature of the conveyed liquid, and tank empty/not empty status will be collected via an Iwaki pump protector DRN and transferred to the cloud using the IIoT infrastructure that Yokogawa currently has under development, and will be available for remote access from any location by a facility manager.

With the ability to remotely monitor the operating status of the pumps at a facility, the facility manager will be able to detect problems early on and consult with staff at the head office to decide on comprehensive and appropriate countermeasures.

Pump manufacturers will be able to use this service to ensure the timely maintenance of their customers’ products in the field. With this service, it will be possible to remotely monitor the operating status of multiple pumps, and a warning message can be emailed to the facility or maintenance manager to ensure a timely response whenever a set threshold is exceeded.

Iwaki is Japan’s manufacturer of chemical and pharmaceutical pumps. By partnering with this company, Yokogawa will gain access to its abundant know-how and expertise and thus be able to rapidly evaluate the market potential for such a service.

With the IIoT architecture that Yokogawa is developing, an IoT gateway device will receive sensor data via a low power wide area network (LPWAN) or some other wireless link, or via an analog/digital communications interface. Once in the cloud, this data can then be accessed using a cellular or fixed line network.

Yokogawa aims to create a system that simplifies the process of connecting to sensors and other instruments and transferring that data to the cloud. With plug-and-play functionality, device detection and configuration will be done automatically, and other functions will ease the tasks of data transfer, remote control, and alarm notification. […]

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