Hacking the Hacks

Wikileaks this week released a trove of materials purportedly from the CIA which demonstrate a range of methods used for spying on unwitting individuals. Among the revelations were how-to’s on accessing (read: hacking) most popular operating systems including Android and Apple. The CIA, it is alleged, has figured out how to bypass the encryption on a host of common apps including Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram, and even get around many antivirus programs designed to spy on the spies.

As it turns out, that TV set you have hanging on your family room wall might well be watching you. Worse, it was intimated that a vehicle’s electronics system could be hacked, rendering the car uncontrollable — with potentially devastating consequences.

It doesn’t take much to make the leap from hacking consumer and automotive electronics to overtaking machine language software systems. And that should be of paramount importance to those working on industry standards for Industry 4.0, including IPC’s Shop Floor Communication Standard Subcommittee and Mentor Graphics (OML).

As important as machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is, security should be the priority.

 

 

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He is also vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversees all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 20 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow