IoT news of the week for July 10, 2020

Protect your ports! Honeywell finds USB malware is on the rise : According to a report from Honeywell analyzing the threats appearing on USB devices, such devices are hosting more trojans, worms, and other actively malicious malware than they were a year ago. Not only is the software on these USB drives more malicious, but hackers are also designing more software specifically for USB attacks. The report found that, of the sample of threats it analyzed, 19% specifically used USB for infection or propagation. In the company’s initial USB threat report, only 9% of threats were specifically crafted to leverage USB. USB attacks are common in industrial settings, where networks are air-gapped and locked down. Think of USB attacks on OT networks like you would the phishing attacks on IT networks. Both rely on employees making a mistake, and both can wreak havoc. ( Honeywell )
Electric Imp sold to Twilio : IoT platform company Electric Imp has sold to Twilio, a deal that was consummated much earlier this year, but announced this week. Twilio, which provides connectivity for companies that want to harness the SMS network, has broadened its services to provide connectivity modules for the IoT. This falls in line with Twilio’s core competency of bringing connectivity to developers. It used to do this for developers building apps and websites; now it wants to provide connectivity for developers building hardware. The deal brings to Twilio Electric Imp’s connected Wi-Fi and cellular modules as well as its cloud assets. Electric Imp has always impressed me with its focus on security, not just at the point of sale, but over a long period of time. Huge Fiennes, the founder of Electric Imp, designed a connected product that truly meets the needs of any device that will need to function in the real world for years, without requiring a lot of hands-on effort and expense to keep the device secure and functioning. I think the company was a little too early, but I’m glad to see its tech live on and continue to find its way into real-world products. ( TechCrunch )
Get ready for 5G’s latest release : Last week, 3GPP, the standards-setting organization for 5G technology, approved Release 16 of the cellular radio spec, which advances 5G beyond mobile broadband and paves the way for factory and enterprise deployments. The release standardizes shared and unlicensed spectrum, which will likely be used in private networks operated by factories or enterprise campuses. It also focuses on super-low latency and five-nines reliability, which means wireless communications could actually make sense for production networks inside factories. There’s more in this article, and I’ll have a podcast on the topic soon. ( Fierce Wireless )
Liquid Wire gets funding for cool wearable components : Liquid Wire, an Oregon-based startup making flexible wires that can be used to build electronics into wearable devices, has raised $10 million led by...