‘Think evil’ to thwart the bad guys, says design expert

28 January 2013
By Chris Edwards
Mobile version
Share |
Military aircraft require sophisticated software systems

Military aircraft require sophisticated software systems

Embedded-systems designers must pay more attention to how their systems can be compromised, and should "think evil, do good" in implementing security by design, says industry insider Stuary McClure.

McClure, a former McAfee executive and now head of startup Cylance, will explain his thinking in a keynote at the Embedded World show in Nuremberg at the end of February.

The discovery in 2010 of the Stuxnet worm, aimed at the Siemens programmable logic controllers used by the Iranian government for its nuclear enrichment programme, made it clear that embedded systems were to become an important battleground in computer hacking and crime.

Since then, a number of high-profile vulnerabilities and penetrations of embedded systems have appeared, from the control systems for insulin pumps to the network routers that control access to critical infrastructure and industrial-control systems.

In a previous speech focused on embedded systems, McClure described how even good causes can be subverted. 

He showed how a Red Cross poster containing a contactless radio chip intended to let people download information onto their mobiles could be reworked to pass on viruses.

Security is a major theme at the show and conference, where people such as Greg Davis from Green Hills Software will describe how to write secure and reliable C code. 

Green Hills CEO Dan O'Dowd has argued for some years that the techniques for writing secure code are readily available and in use in critical systems on military aircraft, claiming: "The level of programming and the care that software goes through in the aircraft industry is a hundred times greater than what happens in other industries."

Aircraft-class software quality is being addressed by new standards coming into play in the automotive industry. 

As Embedded World takes place close to the heartland of the German motor industry, one key focus of the show is the recently introduced ISO26262 standard. 

Dassault Technology, Gaio Technology, iSystem and Mathworks are among the companies at the show who have developed tools with support for the standard.

At the same time, embedded systems designers are being challenged to do more with less energy.

Although this can be answered in part by using more power-efficient hardware, a key theme of the show is the use of virtual prototyping not only to do earlier and more effective testing of function but also of the way the target application uses energy. 

By reworking the way in which modules are implemented, engineers can cut the overall power consumption significantly.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • Field Application Engineer

    Intel
    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Control Engineer

    Bank of England
    • Debden
    • Competitive

    We’re looking for a qualified engineer with experience of computer programming for engineering systems and instrumentation.

    • Recruiter: Bank of England

    Apply for this job

  • Technical Architect

    BAE Systems
    • South Ayrshire, Scotland, Prestwick
    • Negotiable

    Technical Architect Would you like to help provide the Technical Authority and Leadership within the RA IM&T Department? We currently have a vacancy for a Technical Architect at our site in Prestwick. As a Technical Architect, you will be managing and

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Web and Database Developer

    Hercules Site Services Ltd
    • Swindon, Wiltshire
    • £36,000 - £40,000 p/a

    Web and Database Developer to join Engineering department to develop the company website and support the Existing infrastructure.

    • Recruiter: Hercules Site Services Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Software Compliance Consultant

    BAE Systems
    • England, Lancashire, Preston
    • Negotiable

    Software Compliance Consultant Would you like to be a part of an exciting and growing team, responsible for the long-term strategic management of software for BAE Systems? We currently have a vacancy for a Software Compliance Consultant at our site in Pr

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Consultant Engineer - Information Assurance

    BAE Systems
    • Barrow-In-Furness, England, Cumbria
    • Negotiable

    Consultant Engineer - Information Assurance Would you like to have a strategic influence on the development of Information Assurance (IA) policies for a national nuclear deterrence programme? We currently have a vacancy for a Consultant Engineer - Informa

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Junior Business Analyst - IKM

    BAE Systems
    • Hampshire, England, Portsmouth
    • Negotiable

    Junior Business Analyst - IKM Would you like to forge a career in the defence industry? We currently have a vacancy for a Junior Business Analyst - IKM at our site at Portsmouth Naval Base. As a Junior Business Analyst - IKM, you will be supporting the I

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Engineer - Software Verification

    BAE Systems
    • England, Cumbria, Barrow-In-Furness
    • Negotiable

    Principal Engineer - Software Verification Would you like an opportunity to work with military based software tackling some of the greatest software complexities and associated risk levels? We currently have a vacancy for a Principal Engineer - Software V

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Systems Engineer

    National Air Traffic Services
    • England, Hampshire, Fareham
    • Negotiable

    NATS is a leading air navigation services specialist, handling 2.2 million flights in 2013/14, covering the UK and eastern North Atlantic. NATS provides air traffic control from centres at Swanwick, Hampshire and Prestwick, Ayrshire. NATS also provides a

    • Recruiter: National Air Traffic Services

    Apply for this job

  • Rail Engineer

    Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd
    • Burton, Dorking, Glasgow
    • £ Competitive + Benefits

    Some of the most exciting infrastructure projects in the UK over the coming years are in rail.

    • Recruiter: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T