Group Theoretic Cryptography (GTC) Offers an Alternative to TLS’s ECC/RSA Security for Microcontrollers

SecureRF Group Theoretic Cryptography

The Transport Layer Security (TLS), sometimes incorrectly referred as its predecessor: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), helps securing messages over the network using symmetric cryptography, and optionally public-key cryptography (aka asymmetric cryptography). This works well in servers and computers, but with the Internet of Things, even low-power sensor nodes would benefit from secure communication. The trouble is that today’s commonly-implemented RSA- and Diffie-Hellman-type public-key protocols have a memory footprint that will not fit on resource-constrained microcontrollers systems, e.g. Arm Cortex-M0 based ones, and power consumption may also be an issue since many of those are battery-powered. I’m writing about this topic today, as there may be a better alternative for resource-constrained microcontrollers which I noticed in Arm Techcon 2019 schedule, with SecureRF Corporation’s session entitled “When it comes to connect IoT devices, how small is small?” that will present an alternative to TLS’s ECC and RSA based security that relies on in “Group Theoretic Cryptography (GTC)” designed specifically for low resource …

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Ameba Z2 IoT Board Features Realtek RTL8720CM Armv8-M KM4 Secure Wireless MCU

Ameba Z2 IoT Development Board

In 2016 we discovered Realtek Ameba wireless microcontrollers combining an Arm Cortex-M3 core with WiFi connectivity, and that could potentially become an ESP8266 competitor with modules selling for as low as $2. But the solution never really took off, because it was about the same price as ESP8266, and the latter already had a solid software ecosystem and community. But RealTek has now introduced a new Ameba Z2 IoT development board powered by RTL8720CM microcontroller featuring an Armv8-M KM4 core clocked at 100 MHz. What’s an Arm KM4 core you may ask? Seeed Studio informed me Arm and RealTek worked together on the KM4 core, so it looks like a custom Armv8-M microcontroller. Ameba Z2 IoT Development Board Ameba Z2 (ZII) specifications: Wireless MCU – Realtek RTL8720CM single core Armv8-M KM4 core @ 100MHz with 4.2MB internal RAM, WiFi and Bluetooth radios Storage – 2MB external flash on module Connectivity Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n 1×1 Wi-Fi 4 (20/40MHz) with PCB …

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Arm Techcon 2019 Schedule – Machine Learning, Security, Containers, and More

Arm Techcon 2019

Arm TechCon will take place on October 8-10, 2019 at San Jose Convention Center to showcase new solutions from Arm and third-parties, and the company has now published the agenda/schedule for the event. There are many sessions and even if you’re not going to happen it’s always useful to checkout what will be discussed to learn more about what’s going on currently and what will be the focus in the near future for Arm development. Several sessions normally occur at the same time, so as usual I’ll make my own virtual schedule with the ones I find most relevant. Tuesday, October 8  09:00 – 09:50 – Open Source ML is rapidly advancing. How can you benefit? by Markus Levy, Director of AI and Machine Learning Technologies, NXP Over the last two years and still continuing, machine learning applications have benefited tremendously from the growing number of open source frameworks, tools, and libraries to support edge inferencing. These include CMSIS-NN, ARM …

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Winston Privacy Filter Lets You Browse the Web Anonymously, Ad-free & Tracking-free (Crowdfunding)

Winston Privacy Filter

More and more people are worried about their privacy online, so products and solutions aiming to protect people against tracking, targeted ads, cookies, and various other threat have been popping up. Fingbox and Firewalla are such devices, but their hardware may be limited, and software solutions like PiHole are also an option, but  may not be suitable for everyone. Winston privacy filter is another plug-and-play solution, but based on an actual network processor, namely a Marvell ARMADA dual core Arm Cortex-A53 SoC, that should make sure your network performance is not impacted, and even provides a boost of performance for most visited websites due to the resources that are being blocked out. Winston “privacy filter” hardware specifications: SoC – Marvell ARMADA dual core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.0 GHz with security and data acceleration engines System Memory – 1GB DDR4 @ 800 MHz Storage – TBD Networking – Dual Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) for WAN and LAN Dimensions – 117 x …

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Reolink Argus Eco Review – A Sub-$100 Solar Powered Security Camera

Reolink Argus Eco IP Camera Wall Mounted

I’ve been thinking about installing one or more IP camera in my home for a while, and for ease of installation and considering I’m renting, my preference was to go with one of those battery IP cameras similar to Amazon (Immedia) Blink IP camera or Eufy EverCam security camera that last six months to one year on a single charge. But earlier this year I came across Reolink Argus 2 battery powered security camera that looks like good value at $100, and also came with an optional solar panel so you don’t have to ever charge the camera.  The company latter contacted me to know whether I’d be willing to try out their latest Reolink Argus Eco camera with similar features but an even lower $89.99 price tag. I got my sample a few weeks ago, and I had time to install it, and play around with the camera during that time, so  I’m now ready to report my experience …

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SAUCS is a Search Engine for Security Vulnerabilities (CVE Database)


Every so often we hear about critical security vulnerabilities in the news, but new ones are actually discovered daily, so it would be nice to have some sort of search engine to find out which known security vulnerabilities a given product or processor may have before purchasing it, or even more importantly starting a project. SAUCS does just that by having robots checking out the CVE update list, parsing the XML feed and formatting it. You can search for products or process, or subscribe to the vendors and products you want, and receive an email as soon as new changes as detected. I found out about SAUCS thanks to a comment from Thomas who pointed out the Qualcomm MDM9607 processor found in Quectel EC25 LTE module had a fairly long list of CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) entries while using the default? firmware as shown in the screenshot above. Each CVE entry is ranked by its CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring …

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Embedded Linux Conference & Open Source Summit 2019 Schedule

Embedded Linux Conference 2019 Schedule

In the last few years, I covered the Embedded Linux Conference and IoT Summit schedules since both were happening at the same time and in the same location. But the Linux Foundation have recently announced the Embedded Linux Conference will combine with the Open Source Summit, so the IoT Summit appears to have been phased out. The full schedule for the events taking place on August 21 – 23, 2019 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, USA, has also been released, so I’ll create a virtual schedule with some of the sessions most relevant to this blog. Wednesday August 21, 2019 11:30 – 12:05 – What’s New with U-Boot? by Simon Glass, Google LLC U-Boot is a widely used bootloader in embedded systems. Many users are unaware of the wide feature-set of U-Boot, particularly features added in the last few years. This talk aims to bring users (and prospective users) up to speed on the state of the art in …

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More Intel Processor HW Security Flaws. Meet Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS)

Intel MDS Zombieload, RIDL, Fallout

2018 did not start so well for processor vendors, especially Intel, but also AMD, Arm and others as some of their processors leveraging speculative execution were impacted by Spectre and/or Meltdown hardware security bugs. The workarounds to improve security had a downside as they affected performance in some specific use case. Panic ensued as the bug was revealed to the public a bit too early, so companies were not fully ready with their mitigations / workarounds. Then in summer of 2018, another hardware security flaw known as Foreshadow or L1 Terminal Fault came to light. The new flaw potentially enabled the attacker to access data stored in L1 cache.  Provided you have updated your operating systems to the latest version, your computers and devices should be protected against those vulnerabilities, and you can even check with a script working in Linux or FreeBSD. But this now looks like a never ending game, as security researchers have found yet other hardware …

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