editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Firewalls Everywhere

We recently heard Netronome’s view on next-generation firewalls, and in particular, how they are migrating from the more traditional boundary protection to be distributed throughout compute farms on each rack.

Well, it goes beyond that, at least in Icon Labs’ view; I talked with them at ESC (or Design West, or ESC, a subsidiary of Design West). They point out the fact that embedded systems are all becoming hackable, with a few interesting examples:

–          Apparently if you send the right text message to the right phone number, you can defeat a car’s anti-theft mechanism and drive off with it. (“Dude, where’s my car??” “Oops, sorry, wrong number…”)

–          If you hack a printer, you can steal the images stored in memory.

–          Pacemakers have been successfully hacked in the lab.

So they see small, embeddable firewalls as critical to closing off these unexpected intrusions.  They need to be incorporated at the lowest possible levels in communications stacks, and they need to be worked into safety-critical standards. From a size standpoint, we are talking small: they target Zilog 8-bit MCUs, with 10-12K of ROM and 40K of RAM.

Whoever would have thought that 8-bit MCUs would be running firewalls…

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Sep 25, 2018
Robots are a hot topic these days. From helping doctors in the operating room to helping survivors of a natural disaster, it'€™s clear that robots are poised to play an important role......
Sep 25, 2018
CDNLive India took place a few weeks ago and we are just trying to catch our breath! If you missed it, I'm going to be posting two cool videos before the weekend with the highlights. Here are two blogs by the veteran blogger Paul McLellan - one on Asynchronous Design and...
Sep 24, 2018
One of the biggest events in the FPGA/SoC ecosystem is the annual Xilinx Developers Forum (XDF). XDF connects software developers and system designers to the deep expertise of Xilinx engineers, partners, and industry leaders. XDF takes place in three locations this year.  Sa...
Sep 21, 2018
  FPGA luminary David Laws has just published a well-researched blog on the Computer History Museum'€™s Web site titled '€œWho invented the Microprocessor?'€ If you'€™re wildly waving your raised hand right now, going '€œOoo, Ooo, Ooo, Call on me!'€ to get ...