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Internet Of Things To Become Safer

Update Date: Jun 03, 2014 08:13 AM EDT

Scientists at the University of California have developed a tool that allows hardware designers and system builders to test security. The tool to test security of a hardware is first of its kind. 

"The stakes in hardware security are high", said Ryan Kastner, a professor of computer science at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, in the press release. 

Every other consumer electronic company is pushing big for creating so-called Internet of Things in which all devices are connected and communicate with each other. Apparently, embedded systems that are small computer systems built around micro controllers are becoming more common. However, these also remain vulnerable to security breaches. 

"Engineers traditionally design devices to be fast and use as little power as possible," said Jonathan Valamehr, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego, in the press release. "Oftentimes, they don't design them with security in mind."

The newly developed tool is based on the team's research on Gate-level Information Flow Tracking, or GLIFT. It tags critical pieces in a hardware's security system and tracks them. With the help of this technology it can detect security-specific properties within a hardware system, i.e, the tool can make sure that a cryptographic key does not leak outside a chip's cryptographic core, the release added. 

The team has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to grow their business and further their research.

The tool has been described in the May-June issue of IEEE Micro magazine.

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