How Waterloo researchers are keeping hackers out of your devices

Friday, July 5, 2019

Catherine GebotysIn the Internet-of-Things future, hackers can be almost anywhere.

They could be probing your smart-TV set, home-security camera, connected car, a wearable device like a Fitbit, or even a child’s toy.

Last year, an official watchdog in Germany, the Federal Network Agency, told parents to destroy a talking doll called Cayla because its smart technology can reveal personal data. And researchers also recently found that the Bluetooth connection in another child’s toy, Furby, could be hijacked, possibly allowing hackers to turn on the doll’s microphone and speak to children.

Even medical devices like digital insulin pumps, pacemakers and defibrillators are digital, which means that they too can be hacked.

Robust countermeasures to thwart hackers

In the lab of Catherine Gebotys, a professor in Waterloo’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a research team is finding all the ways that hackers can get into those wireless devices so that countermeasures can be developed for the embedded chip architecture.

Read the full article.

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