IOT News Roundup

Cisco drives connected car infrastructure forward; Snowden reveals major SIM security breach; FAA unveils proposed regulations for commercial drone use; Bosch to acquire IoT middleware company ProSyst; Sony opens pre-orders for its smart glasses.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Feb 23, 2015

Cisco Announces Connected Roadways Product Suite
Cisco introduced a new suite of products and services last week called Connected Roadways. The suite is designed to serve as an integral part of a wireless communication platform that supports vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) applications for vehicle fleets, individual drivers or mass transit. Such a system can aid drivers and system operators in making informed decisions about routing, in order to find the fastest route, reduce traffic and avoid transit delays. A study conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that in 2005, vehicles wasted 2.9 billion gallons of fuel while stuck in traffic, sent 56 billion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and created a $78 billion annual drain on the U.S. economy.

To implement Connected Roadways products and services, Cisco partners with a number of companies, including Cohda Wireless, a provider of wireless communication systems for automotive safety applications; the Econolite Group, which implements vehicle-detection systems for efficient traffic flow and adaptive traffic; and ASFiNAG GmbH, a German highway tolling system that uses its network of sensors and cameras to adjust speed limits to prevent traffic jams on highways.

The Cisco suite includes ruggedized, weather-resistant switches; the Cisco 819 Integrated Services Router, which enables vehicles to access a 3G wireless wide-area network (WAN) and connect to dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) radios; and Cisco's Unified MPLS transport network, which provides a backhaul of data traffic between the roadside and the data center. These tools support vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, such as onboard DSRC radios in busses that interact with traffic-safety systems and transit signal priority systems, which help keep the vehicles moving efficiently and safely. Computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems are used to relay information to field service technicians, mass-transit vehicles or emergency services, via two-way radio, text messaging or other forms of communication. Automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems track and securely dispatch vehicle locations via GPS. Cisco's integration partners can alert drivers to upcoming traffic incidents via CAD or AVL.

Snowden Reveals Spy Agencies Broke SIM Encryption
Through leaked documents, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed to investigative news site The Intercept that the National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), managed to hack into Gemalto's computer network and access encryption keys to the company's subscriber identity module (SIM) products, which are embedded in billions of smartphones. With these encryption keys, the agencies have the ability to secretly monitor voice and data communications between a targeted individual's phone and his or her telecom provider's network.

According to the article, Gemalto's SIM encryption keys were accessed when "hackers working for GCHQ remotely penetrated the company's computer network in order to steal the keys in bulk as they were en route to the wireless network providers."

These revelations come less than two weeks before the Mobile World Congress 2015 event, and will likely send shock waves through the telecommunications industry. Matthew Green, a cryptography specialist at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute, told The Intercept, "Gaining access to a database of keys is pretty much game over for cellular encryption."

We'll be reporting on the implications that this breach could have on IoT applications deployed on cellular devices during the coming weeks.

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