Networked Globe – 20 January 2014

Competitions and home automation security flaws dominate today’s Networked Globe briefing.

M2M Challenge announces finalists

Finalists in the second M2M Innovator of the Year award were announced today from the competion’s 250  entrants across five categories.

The winners will be unveiled by the title sponsors Ericsson and Swisscom at the Mobile World Congress on February 24.

”We find it inspiring to encourage the creation of new ideas. The M2M Challenge proves that there are countless innovations and great ideas out there, just waiting to be recognized” says Miguel Blockstrand, Head of Device Connections, Ericsson.

Half a million Belkin WeMo users exposed to flaw

Information security vendor IOActive revealed the  Belkin WeMo Home Automation devices have multiple security flaws that could affect over half a million users. Belkin’s WeMo uses Wi-Fi and the mobile Internet to control home electronics anywhere in the world directly from the users’ smartphone.

Mike Davis, IOActive’s principal research scientist, uncovered multiple vulnerabilities in the WeMo product set that gives attackers the ability to remotely control devices over the internet, perform malicious firmware updates, access home networks and, in some cases, remotely monitor the devices.

Davis said, “As we connect our homes to the Internet, it is increasingly important for Internet-of-Things device vendors to ensure that reasonable security methodologies are adopted early in product development cycles. This mitigates their customer’s exposure and reduces risk. Another concern is that the WeMo devices use motion sensors, which can be used by an attacker to remotely monitor occupancy within the home.”

In response to the revelations, Belkin released patches to address the problems.

Researchers from IOActive are attending the RSA security conference in Las Vegas next week to discuss best practices on how users and manufacturers can better protect themselves against these types of vulnerabilities.

OpenRemote opens its IoT Challenge 2014

Open source home automation community, OpenRemote has launched its 2014 IoT Challenge.

The challenge is open to anyone with ideas that “reveal the true benefits of the Internet of Things to society” and will be judged by an independent, international panel.

Prizes include a three day trip to an Openremote community meeting in California, a Nest thermostat, play robots and Belkin WiMo devices that have been hopefully patched.

Competitions and security flaws dominate today’s Networked Globe briefing

Competitions and security flaws dominate today’s Networked Globe briefing

About the author

Paul Wallbank is the founding editor of Networked Globe and has nearly twenty years experience of working in and reporting on computers, the internet and the future of our connected society.