SA and Sweden collaborate in workshops to improve the operations of IoT
Internet of Things (IoT) is known to operate in an open environment making it vulnerable to various security issues and attacks. There is always the possibility of hackers breaking into the system and stealing data. Therefore, there is a need to find innovative techniques and tools that can enhance the security of IoT systems and applications.
As part of taking security measures, the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) hosted the South Africa – Sweden University Forum (SASUF) collaboration workshops on Network Testing and Fuzzing for a Reliable and Secure Internet of Things from 03-07 February 2020. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce the participants to the recent range of testing technologies and tools that can enhance the security of the Internet of Things systems and applications.
It is expected that participants will be equipped with the necessary skills that will enable them to understand the Internet of Things security architecture and components including vulnerabilities, attack vectors for smart devices, analyse firmware and be able to identify vulnerabilities in firmware, perform smart device hacking using techniques such as firmware extraction techniques and conventional attack techniques and to perform exploitation and be able to take over smart devices.
Topics such as software verification with code and models, property-based testing, testing software: from unit testing to model-based testing, grammar-based testing, Introduction for the hackathon, Java PathFinder and Hackathon were covered.
Dr Ntima Mabanza, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Technology said that the project aims to bring together information technology researchers from different expertise such as networks, programming and security. “The aim of this collaboration is knowledge sharing and exchange to build research capacities and establish new connections. In this project, we are more focused on students who are doing honours and master’s degrees, advanced diplomas and PhD.”
Prof. Muthoni Masinde, Head of the Information Technology department said that digital technologies are moving all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) from vision to action. “The tools and technologies we are going to learn about are completely in line with the vision of CUT especially with the research we are doing in the faculty. Everything that we are doing will give direct input into our Centre for Sustainable Smart Cities and many other things we are doing at CUT. Together let’s use these technologies to protect our planet and improve people’s lives and the world.”
The project brought together Information Technology researchers in the areas of networking, programming and security in South African and Swedish Universities namely; Dr Ntima Mabanza (Central University of Technology, Free State), Dr Gardner Mwansa (Walter Sisulu University), Prof. Bernd Fischer(Stellenbosch University), Prof. Konstantinos Sagonas (Uppsala University) and Prof. Cyrille Artho (KTH Royal Institute of Technology). The researchers will be working in collaboration in order to provide solutions and contributions to the improvement of operations of IoT devices. They will also educate students and professionals on recent techniques and tools that can enhance the security of IoT systems and applications.
Prof. Cyrille Artho from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, giving a presentation on software verification with code and models.
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