real-time operating system

6 articles

First Line of Defense

By Ka Kay Achacoso Designing security into a device requires an understanding of the nature of the attacker.  The cost of security implementation, including  acquiring the technology carrying out the processes, scales up with attacker sophistication.  A rule of thumb is to make the device tampering cost higher than the benefits gained from a security breach.    Wind River’s VxWorks…

Improving Embedded Operating System Security Part 4: Partition Systems to Protect Essential Components

By Bill Graham An effective security technique is to separate different major components of a system into partitions. In some cases these partitions are physical, i.e., separate devices with physical separation. With modern virtualization technologies these partitions can be virtual, in software, on the same device or processor. An example of this would be combining a general purpose OS (GPOS)…

Improving Embedded Operating System Security Part 3: Secure Your Network Communication

By Bill Graham Many security issues with embedded systems stem from their connection via a network with access open to a large population (enterprise network) or even directly to the Internet.  Also, devices designed for small local private networks are increasingly connected to large corporate networks or the Internet directly. It’s safer to assume that all external connections to your…

Improving Embedded Operating System Security Part 2: Enable a More Secure Configuration

By Bill Graham Despite the hype surrounding the state of embedded security, many of the runtime platforms that these systems are based on can be made more secure through proper configuration. Moreover, it’s important to keep the platform updated since the RTOS likely has many security vulnerabilities fixed that were present in older versions.  Default configurations for embedded operating systems…

Improving Embedded Operating System Security

By Bill Graham Security has quickly risen to the top of mind for embedded developers in the last year. Although the Stuxnet worm was a wake up call for the embedded industry, there have been several other notable incidents since. For example, attackers where able to gain control of a home insulin pump and change its settings. In a recent…

Improving Embedded Security: Proper Runtime Selection

By Bill Graham Selection of secure components for an embedded system is key to a secure system. Leveraging a secure RTOS, middleware, virtualization and tools significantly reduces the effort and development costs. Moreover, there are additional benefits from using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software components over Roll Your Own (RYO) code or self-ported and maintained open source code. Some of the COTS…