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Are My (Internet of) Things Vulnerable? A Look at the Security of Embedded Systems
Monday, October 26, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Embedded systems, little single-purpose computers, have entrenched themselves into every aspect of modern life. While this is mostly good news because it enables amazing functionality (e.g., self-driving cars, smart homes, and the world’s information at our fingertips), it does raise one major question, “Is this stuff secure?” Conspiracies abound with Smart Assistants, “Hey Siri, are you eavesdropping on me?” “Hey Google, are you collecting my data?” And almost mythical stories have arisen of hackers taking over refrigerators, power plants, and even planes. Are any of these outlandish claims even possible?
In this talk, I will explain how embedded systems are built, and what kind of security concerns they face. Then, we will discuss some interesting real-world attacks and learn how difficult it really is to build a “secure” embedded system. Finally, I will walk through a few real attacks and see what is being done to defend these systems in practice. Ideally, after this presentation you will understand that these embedded systems are not-so-different from your laptop, but how these subtle differences radically change the game from a security perspective.