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These blog posts relate to the design of secure embedded systems.

Security and the IoT

by Andrew Girson

In the most recent DDoS attack, IoT devices such as webcams and DVRs were used to launch an attack on domain service provider, Dyn. The enormity of this event brings to light the importance of securing all devices capable of connecting to the internet. Developers cannot control what viruses or malware may try to attack their systems. However, developers do have a very profound impact on how resilient their products are in the event of an attack.

How to Prevent and Detect Stack Overflow

The safety and security of every embedded system is dependent upon proper operation of the stack (or stacks, if there are multiple). If a stack overflow occurs, a major or minor malfunction is very likely to follow. Despite this, the stack in the majority of embedded systems is sized based on nothing more than a hunch. As well, run-time stack monitoring is too seldom used.

DirecTV Expert Witness Case Study

Within months of the 1994 launch of DirecTV's national satellite TV service in the U.S. the broadcast system was hacked. The company's first-generation smart card-based security could subsequently be modified or replaced by individuals desiring to erase records of pay-per-view purchases or enable the unlawful interception of channels they hadn't paid for.

How to Protect Non-Volatile Data

Unexpected power loss and software bugs can undermine the reliability of non-volatile data. Fortunately, there are various ways to make non-volatile data resilient to such corruption.

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