California IoT law requires manufacturers to build security into connected devices

9 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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A pair of linked bills passed by the California legislature and signed into law late last month by governor Jerry Brown require manufacturers to preload passwords or install other security features on any kind of device that’s directly or indirectly connected to the Internet, beginning in 2020. Assembly bill 1906, carried by assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin (D – Ventura) and senate bill 327, authored by senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D – Santa Barbara) are aimed at protecting privacy, and preventing the rise of botnets – networks of online devices that are infected with malware and used by cybercriminals for their own purposes.… More

If you wait long enough for M2M, you'll be disappointed

18 January 2014 by Steve Blum
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Don’t wait for orders from headquarters! Mount up, and ride to the sound of the guns!
Cavalry maxim, attributed variously to Napoleon, JEB Stuart and Pat Buchanan.

An industry committee could have prevented this.

“Machine to machine” – M2M – is a clear way of describing a rapidly growing high tech sector. It involves two (or more) devices directly interacting with each other, without the necessity of a human or higher level system reprocessing data or interjecting commands.… More

De facto M2M protocol might be decided by appliance makers

4 January 2014 by Steve Blum
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Popular standards flow from the lowest common denominator.

From Ericsson’s 50 billion node mobile universe to Qualcomm’s 1,000X meme, there’s been no shortage of grand vision for machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity at CES. Meaningful standards are lacking, but at least a consensus seems to be building around what to call it: the Internet of things – IoT.

Since it’ll be using the same, old Internet, there’s no particular worry about how to deliver data from point A to point B, and back again.… More

Looking for the Facebook of mobile medical platforms

26 October 2013 by Steve Blum
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With 26 million people – more than 8% of the population – in the U.S. suffering from diabetes, a device that wirelessly tracks blood glucose levels will find a ready market. Which is what iHealth is targeting with a new, networked glucose monitor that was previewed at Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco last week. Piece by piece, this consumer oriented medical device maker is also building an online health and wellness management platform.

The monitor costs $80 and connects to an iOS or Android device via Bluetooth.… More

Proprietary home automation platforms spring security leaks

1 September 2013 by Steve Blum
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Open source makes it harder to open doors.

The open source versus proprietary platform debate is moving into the home automation sector. Z-Wave is a proprietary protocol for wirelessly managing home devices, including locks, sensors and security cameras. It’s been hacked by two network security professionals who wanted to see if it’s really as secure as advertised.

It is and it isn’t.

Behrang Fouladi and Sahand Ghanoun took over a Z-Wave motion sensor using an idiot-simple trick – intercept a wireless command, record and replay it – and defeated a lock with only a little more effort.… More

U.S. group drafting standards for industrial strength Internet

31 August 2013 by Steve Blum
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Sorry. I thought you said the castanet of things.

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology is coordinating an effort – with broad industry support – to create security and operating standards for industrial machine-to-machine (M2M) data communications.

There are already a couple of efforts underway amongst mobile carriers and equipment makers to standardise protocols for wireless segments of those networks. The expectation is that billions – 50 billion by 2020? – of devices will communicate directly back to the Internet of Things via mobile data modules.… More

M2M standards will unleash innovation

14 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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Bringing down the vertical market.

Machine-to-machine communication protocols are propriety, frequently established by low volume vertical applications that are bolted onto existing mobile networks. There’s no established way to make M2M equipment that can roam across a large ecosystem of different networks. But similar to the GSM and CDMA standards that were originally developed for voice, carriers are starting to group together, with four European carriers – Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and TeliaSonera – forming the Global M2M Association (GMA) and a larger group – which includes NTT Docomo, SingTel, Telefonica, O2 and Optus – coalescing around a proprietary platform developed by Jasper Wireless.… More

New M2M radio specs could challenge mobile networks

13 April 2013 by Steve Blum
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Wide area of possibilities.

Two new low power standards for wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) communications have been released in the past couple of weeks. The Zigbee Alliance and the Weightless special interest group have published specifications for wide area networking standards that address the low power, low bit rate needs of many M2M applications. Both are initially targeting the smart grid sector, which is growing rapidly as electricity providers deploy tools to intelligently manage power distribution systems in real time.… More

FDA might tax and regulate mobile apps, but that's not the worst part

30 March 2013 by Steve Blum
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We’ll just do it the old fashioned way.

Medical applications are approved and regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An agency representative [recently told a congressional committee]( that rules regarding mobile medical apps are coming later this year.
Over the course of a week, three separate committees heard a wide range of helpful advice on how best to regulate, or not, mobile medical applications and devices. Taxes were also an issue. The Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – puts a 2.3% tax on medical devices.… More

Health care driving mobile M2M traffic

10 February 2013 by Steve Blum
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Bits keep you fit.

Some time this year, we’ll hit the point where there are more connected devices on mobile networks than there are people on the planet. That doesn’t mean everyone everywhere will have a smartphone. A lot of people have more than one device, of course. And a growing share of those connections don’t involve human beings at all.

According to a report on worldwide mobile data traffic just released by Cisco, 369 million machine-to-machine (M2M) devices accounted for 3% of global traffic last year.… More