Waymo sensors will be used for more than just driverless cars

8 Mar 2019

Image: SundryPhotography/Depositphotos

This week in IoT, driverless car sensors are moving into other industries and the first IoT device has become CTIA-certified.

As the excitement surrounding Mobile World Congress 2019 dies down, attention in the internet of things (IoT) world turns back to reality.

Last week, Colm Gorey reported on a major automotive IoT deal between AT&T and Vodafone. This week, AT&T received another win as it laid claim to the first CTIA-certified IoT device, passing the cybersecurity test.

However, it’s not all good news when it comes to the security of IoT devices, as revealed by a worrying new report. Catch up on these stories and more of the latest news in the world of IoT below.

Waymo is selling its LiDAR sensors

Alphabet’s self-driving car division, Waymo, announced this week that it will start selling its custom-designed LiDAR sensors to other companies.

LiDAR sensors used on driverless cars measure the distance to target objects by illuminating them with laser light and measuring the reflected pulses. However, these sensors also have applications in other areas such as robotics, security and agritech.

In a Medium post, the company wrote that its custom-designed LiDAR sensors have been instrumental in making Waymo the first company in the world to put fully self-driving cars on public roads.

“Now, we are making these sensors available to companies outside of self-driving … so they can achieve their own technological breakthroughs.”

Are IoT devices the new weapon of choice?

A new report from A10 Networks shows that IoT devices are increasingly exploitable in DDoS attacks. The report describes the significant potential for attackers to use the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), deployed on IoT devices to marshal attacks.

According to the report, the most common type of attack utilising many of these weapons is a reflective amplification attack whereby attackers spoof a target’s IP address and send out requests for information to vulnerable servers. Amplified responses are then sent back to the victim’s IP address, overwhelming the capacity of the target’s servers.

A10 Networks’ Rich Groves said the growth of IoT devices using protocols such as CoAP represents a new and rapidly emerging attack surface that is expected to play a major role in DDoS attacks in the future.

“Like other favourite weapon types, CoAP is inherently susceptible to IP address-spoofing and packet amplification, the two major factors that enable the amplification of a DDoS attack,” he said.

AT&T device receives CTIA certification

Wireless industry association CTIA has certified the first device under its IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program.

The device is the Harman Spark from AT&T, an auto plugin device that turns any car made after 1996 into a connected car.

CTIA’s Tom Sawanobori said this was a milestone for the CTIA programme. “As we move toward an increasingly connected future, the CTIA IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program and its authorised labs will play a key role in protecting consumers and our wireless networks.”

The certification verifies a device’s security features against a set of best practices, including the storage of consumers’ information, password and security management, standards, and the availability of an over-the-air mechanism for security software.

Clarion launches speakerless sound for cars

Japanese electronics company Clarion announced its speakerless audio system for cars this week. The system uses a vibration alert built into car seats to create speakerless audio. According to Clarion, the system delivers the highest-quality surround sound without the need for traditional speakers.

The innovation is based on a system that receives a signal directly from a car stereo, similar to a traditional speaker. The system transports an impulse to the dashboard, which reproduces the sound.

Conventional speakers can also be built into the headrests to create surround sound for the entire vehicle.

Close up of Waymo self-driving car near Google’s headquarters. Image: SundryPhotography/Depositphotos

Want stories like this and more direct to your inbox? Sign up for Tech Trends, Silicon Republic’s weekly digest of need-to-know tech news.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic