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Always On, Always At Risk

By Ed Sperling, Semiconductor Engineering

Chip security concerns rise with more processing elements, automatic wake-up, over-the-air updates, and greater connectivity.

Always-on devices are everywhere, and each of them is a potential target for hackers.


“How these rollouts have happened in the past has been very undisciplined,” said John Hallman, product manager for trust and security at OneSpin Solutions. “Our culture has adopted the old approach of pushing out updates quickly and blindly accepting them and the terms that come with the updates. Nobody wants to read all the fine print and disclaimers or the release notes that come with the software or firmware update. We’ve lost the sense of discipline that catches so many of these updates as they come out, and the adversaries or attackers are just playing on that lack of discipline to be able to slip things into these updates.”


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