Embedded security in a pervasive world

Chris­tof Paar, André Weimerskirch

Elsevier Science’s Information Security Technical Report, vol 12, no 3, pp 155-161, 2007.


Embedded systems have become an integral part of our everyday life. Devices like vehicles, household appliances, and cell phones are already equipped with embedded microcontrollers. The networking of the myriads of embedded devices gives rise to the brave new world of pervasive computing. Pervasive computing offers enormous advantages and opportunities for users and businesses through new applications, increased comfort, and cost reduction. One often overlooked aspect of pervasive computing, however, are new security threats. This article describes security issues in current and future pervasive security scenarios, ranging from privacy threats and unreliable products to loss of revenue. We also highlight the opportunities, such as new business models, which are enabled through strong embedded security solutions. Current research issues are also summarized. As case studies, we introduce security aspects in future automotive systems and in ad-hoc networks.

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tags: embedded