Tech Quarterly

Essential IoT insights from Q3 20

In this IoT Tech Quarterly

The Internet of Things keeps growing and that growth is not without pain. Concerns continue around security vulnerabilities, consent and privacy. On the other hand, IoT can expand the capabilities of businesses to offer more to customers, whether it’s automating and regulating smart contracts via IoT-enabled sensors, creating a more engaging theme park experience or diversifying their customer base. And with the technology’s move into space, we can no longer say “the sky’s the limit” for IoT expansion.

5 minute read

Bill Clark

Bill Clark

Senior Editor

August 3, 2020 8:27 pm

1. Vulnerability revealed in key IoT component, Bluetooth

The Bluetooth vulnerability was announced with the discovery of BIAS (Bluetooth Impersonation AttackS). The vulnerability allows an attacker to impersonate a previously paired device to authenticate and connect to another device. Users are advised to check for and apply patches.

2. Microsoft announces new capabilities for Azure IoT Central at Build 2020

Microsoft’s annual Build developers’ conference, held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saw a number of announcements, including changes intended to make it easy to connect Azure IoT Edge and Azure Sphere devices to IoT Central.

3. Security firm identifies 19 hackable bugs in code used in possibly billions of devices globally

Dubbed ‘Ripple 20’, the affected code is sold by a company called Treck and was identified in devices from HP and Intel to Rockwell Automation, Caterpillar and Schneider Electric. The bugs will require patching, which can be difficult for end users to do on some IoT devices.

4. Indictment of Satori botnet coder reveals ease of compromising IoT devices

The recently unsealed indictment of coder Kenneth Currin Schuchman, 22, revealed just how easy it is to compromise many IoT devices. The Satori botnet enslaved more than 800,000 devices, including home routers, security cameras and webcams – and affected ISPs, online gaming platforms and web hosting companies.

5. Report studies success factors behind early IoT innovators

The recent ‘IoT Commercialization & Business Model Adoption 2020’ report offers insight into what it takes to successfully develop and market smart and IoT devices. Survey respondents said 52 per cent of IoT business models can be classified as “diversifications” – or new products sold to new decision makers – while 11 per cent are “market penetration” products in which an existing product, with modifications, is sold to the same decision makers as before.

6. Researchers say adding IoT sensors can help give smart contracts teeth

Researchers from Stern School of Business found that IoT sensors can help monitor things like the quality of goods and handling and storage conditions, minimising the potential for disputes.

7. China launches two satellites to support IoT operations

The People’s Republic of China launched the satellites in May, with a plan for up to 80 low-Earth-orbit satellites to provide coverage for IoT services in areas lacking cellular wireless coverage. The China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation announced the satellites completed phase-one testing in June.

8. IoT devices could start failing in significant numbers

Security researcher Scott Helme warns this could happen in the near future as root certificates begin to expire. “We’re coming to a point in time now where there are lots of CA Root Certificates expiring in the next few years simply because it’s been 20+ years since the encrypted web really started up and that’s the lifetime of a Root CA certificate,” Helme says. “This will catch some organisations off guard in a big way.”

9. IEEE urges IoT technologists to consider consent issues

In an article in its IEEE Spectrum magazine, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers says: “As we add connected devices to homes, offices and public places, technologists need to think about consent.” The article adds that “consent can build trust in a connected product or automated system”.

10. Amazon launches monitoring service AWS IoT SiteWise

IoT SiteWise is intended to help users more efficiently gather and use data collected from IoT devices in their facilities. Amazon says SiteWise helps customers collect data from the plant floor, structure and label the data, and generate real-time metrics.

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