Research on Internet of Things security kicks off

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Research on Internet of Things security kicks off

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is starting a 150 billion won ($142 million) project to develop embedded cybersecurity systems for upcoming Internet of Things (IoT) devices and networks.

This plan is part of the government’s IoT cybersecurity system development plan, which starts operating next year, the ministry said yesterday at a press conference.

Once it passes a preliminary budget review by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the National Assembly, the project will receive one of the largest investments in information security.

“I recently visited an IT exhibition and saw a company demonstrate the hacking of a domestic robot,” said Kang Seong-ju, director general of the Science Ministry’s information convergence policy. “The hackers took control of the camera in the robot to secretly observe what happens in the home. My colleagues and I were terrified to see that hacking an IoT-enabled device was that easy.

“This really was a wake-up call for us to expedite security rules and standards customized to each IoT-enabled device, network and platform,” Kang added.

Next year, the ministry will start offering parts of its research for products that are being developed by device makers, such as smart-home appliances, telemedicine devices, electric cars and automated drones. The ministry will also research technologies for natural disaster surveillance, smart factories, energy management systems and smart buildings in 2016.

Security experts will focus on blocking access by unauthorized parties to networks and stored data and on disabling any unauthorized system modifications.

In its cybersecurity plan, the Korean government will do only a few things while funding developers and setting up official cybersecurity guidelines and laws, which all product and service developers should follow.

Meanwhile, actual R&D will be carried out by the private sector, featuring local IT companies - often small companies and start-ups who lack money to develop their own security platforms - and foreign universities. The ministry is currently discussing cooperation with six colleges based in the United States and United Kingdom.

The ministry will start developing cybersecurity guidelines and laws that device makers should follow. In addition to security guidelines, the ministry will prepare a manual to prevent potential cyberattacks.


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