Friday 24 February 2017

Blueprint for Secure Driverless Cars

Robust Cyber Security is an intrinsic requirement with all connected technology in our daily lives, and it is especially challenging with new cutting edge technological advances. Connected and driverless cars promises to be one greatest technological advances of the century, as such fascinates and excites yet at the time there are concerns. Getting cyber security right from the outset will be critical to the success of this industry, as vulnerable connected computer controlled cars is a matter of life and death. Securing the ever increasing sophistication and complexity of computers that control cars is certainly not for the faint hearted.

The car industry recognises trust and security go hand in hand, so in league with the likes of Aeris, Intel and Uber, the industry formed an industry wide organisation called FASTR - Future of Automotive Security Technology Research.  FASTR seeks to enable automotive security by driving cybersecurity across the entire vehicle manufacturing supply chain, to ensure smart cars will be secure from cyber attack.

FASTR recently produced an interesting infographic covering their approach to cyber security, it also has great stats about the car's of today and the cars of tomorrow. If you are interested in learning more about FASTR's approach, check out their Manufesto

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Google & Bing UK Piracy Website Blocking is a Bad Idea for Security

Search engine giants Google and Bing have announced an agreement to make it harder for UK internet users to find pirated films, music and illegally stream football by blocking websites. It appears they have bowed to pressure by the entertainments industry and the UK government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to sign up to a voluntary code of practice.

I certainly don’t condone piracy or digital theft of any kind, but blocking websites is really a terrible idea for the security, privacy and even piracy prevention and enforcement, as it will just drive more people onto the dark web looking for the material they desire. I fear this will only serve to pour petrol on the illicit activities of the dark web by the swelling dark web ‘punters’. What's worst is new and inexperienced UK dark web users are vastly more likely to end up as victims of cyber crime in their desperate attempts to find banned content. 

This is a 'sweeping under the carpet' approach, driving piracy underground onto the dark web where it will be almost impossible to police and prevent. A much more sensible approach to better educate the masses about morality and impact of digital theft. If the UK government are serious about protecting our digital economy from digital piracy, then this morality education needs to start within UK schools.

I am sure privacy advocates will be looking for their Guy Fawkes masks alarmed that the UK government are seemingly involved in pushing the UK's two major search engines into blocking Internet content to UK citizens.

Lee Munson, a security researcher at, said.

“The new voluntary code of practice pledged by major search engines is bad news for anyone looking to download or consume content without paying for it but good news for everyone who wants to stay safe online.

While not every pirate site hosts or links to misnamed files, Trojan-laden porn or malware-infected movie files, many do and, even though security software should be in place, we all know that a great many people do run into trouble on these sorts of sites.

That’s not to say that this new initiative will make malicious files a thing of the past though – the determined will still find the websites they need, however far down the search engine results pages they may fall, and the sharing of such files between family and friends will no doubt carry on unabated.”