DHS is testing Symbiote – a biotechnology laboratory security technology
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is testing a new technology, the “Symbiote Embedded Defense,” designed to protect government labs from cyber-attacks and prevent tuberculosis, yellow fever and other dangerous pathogens Be released to the environment.
The federal research institutes rely on networked devices to automate many of the basic building functions such as ventilation, heating, security, and many more dangerous processes, such as purifying equipment to prevent the release of lethal microbes from the lab. Hackers could potentially harness these devices to control building operations, DHS said it is investing in software to stop cyber attacks.
By DHS, as noted below. (http://www.uscg.mil/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ang Cui, founder and chief executive of Red Balloon Security said “Symbiote Embedded Defense” technology injects software into each device’s binary operating system and constantly analyzes the code to prevent rogue commands from executing. Because the technology doesn’t rely on a particular operating system, it works for every single embedded device.
The symbiote is designed to detect a variety of intentional disruptions on embedded system devices such as routers, VoIP phones, point-of-sale devices. Hewlett-Packard Co. has integrated Symbiote technology into the printer product line to provide worldwide protection.
Cui, a project manager for Internet measurement and attack modeling at the DHS’s Cyber Security Group (CSD), said Symbiote technology is leading cyber security innovations that are still developing new capabilities.
Symbiote technology’s new capabilities determine where the firmware is infiltrated and lock other devices on the same network against cyber attacks. The technology is developed with the help of some of the technologies hackers use to hackers. Through these hacking techniques, Symbiote executes unique code each time it is placed on a new system. Each device has a different Symbiote deployment, which makes it harder for hackers to compromise the device. Hackers have to make the same effort to hack each device.