IoT News Roundup

Study says American manufactures need to up their IoT game; Miami Heat players wearing wearables; researchers exploit security holes in IP video camera; IoT will aid government spies, says report; KotahiNet launches low-power network in New Zealand; McObject upgrades database-management software.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Feb 08, 2016

Study Shows Low Preparedness for IoT Among U.S. Manufacturers

In a newly released study, research and analysis firm The MPI Group evaluates how prepared U.S. manufacturers are to incorporate Internet of Things technology into their products and operations. The short answer: not very. MPI Group queried 350 manufacturers during August and September of 2015 in order to produce the study, which was sponsored by Rockwell Automation, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provider QAD and consultancy BDO. While 63 percent of the manufacturers surveyed said the IoT will allow them to increase their profitability during the next five years, three-fourths of the total respondents reported that they have invested 2 percent or less of revenues toward IoT technology—though many said they plan to increase IoT investments over the next two years. The full report is available here.

Miami Heat Players Wearing VERT Wireless Sensor

The Miami Heat and its affiliate basketball team, the Sioux Falls SkyForce (part of the NBA Development League), are sporting a new accessory on the court. In order to monitor the stresses they experience during practices, players are wearing the VERT wireless jump monitor, which measures their movements. The accelerometer inside the sensor, which clips to a player's shorts near the waist, tracks G-forces (both accumulated over time and peak G-force measurements), jump height and jump count, and transmits each player's data to a mobile device via a Bluetooth connection. Using the VERT Coach app, coaching staff can access the measurements in real time for up to 10 players at once. The app also tracks intensity, exertion and stress analytics.

VERT technology was used last year when players in the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship games wore the device. The VERTcast sports telemetry system broadcasted each player's measurements, such as jump height, to viewers through a television newscast on ESPN2.

IP Camera's Security Vulnerabilities Alarm Researchers

Researchers at the U.K.-based security consultancy Context Information Security recently discovered multiple vulnerabilities in the Motorola Focus 73 outdoor security camera. British telecommunications company Binatone manufactures the camera, which connects through the Internet to a cloud-based service that allows users to remotely watch and control their cameras, via pan, tilt and zoom functions. Users can opt to receive alerts on a mobile app if the camera detects movements. The researchers not only were able to access a third party's camera controls, but also managed to redirect the video feed and movement alerts to their own devices, effectively allowing them to "watch the watchers," according to a press statement from Context Information Security.

Not only does the camera use very basic HTTP authentication, it also fails to encrypt the Wi-Fi network security code that a user keys in when setting up the camera. This failure makes the user's entire home network vulnerable to hackers. The camera's factory-issued username and password—"camera" and "000000"—also means the product has a very weak approach to security. Plus, the team found that the camera's firmware was not encrypted or digitally signed, which enabled them to tamper with the firmware code.

The researchers contacted Motorola, as well as Binatone and the connectivity partners supporting the device. On Feb. 2, Hubble, the camera's cloud connectivity service provider, issued a firmware update to users that is designed to address the security vulnerabilities.

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