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FTC contest seeks to crowdsource IoT security tools

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hoping a contest offering a cash prize1 will encourage members of the public to develop a tool to address security weaknesses in the Internet of Things (IoT) as more and more devices around consumers homes become connected and vulnerabilities increase2. In fact, the agency said it is offering up to $25,000 for the best solution and up to $3,000 for up to three honorable mention winners. Dubbed the IoT Home Inspector Challenge3, the FTC said it is asking participants to develop a tool to address vulnerabilities from out-of-date software in connected devices4.

An ideal tool might be a physical device that the consumer can add to his or her home network that would check and install updates for other IoT devices on that home network or it might be an app or cloud-based service or a dashboard or other user interface, the FTC said in the announcement . Contestants also have the option of adding features such as those that would address hard-coded, factory default or easy-to-guess passwords. Submissions will be accepted March 1 to May 22 . Winners will be announced on or about July 27, 2017. Every day, American consumers are offered innovative new products and services to make their homes smarter, said Jessica Rich, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement . Consumers want these devices to be secure, so we re asking for creativity from the public the tinkerers, thinkers and entrepreneurs to help them keep device software up-to-date. Among the criteria to be considered includes a tool that works with devices currently on the market and that protects information both in transit and at rest . What s more, the FTC5 said scoring will be based in part on tools that recognize existing IoT devices in the home and determine what software is already on those devices as well as the latest versions of software that should be on them and assist in facilitating upgrades, the FTC said. There is also a wildcard option for submissions that don t address those components, but offer a technical solution to address vulnerabilities caused by unpatched or out-of-date software of IoT devices in the home if the Contestant demonstrates how that tool would work and argues for the superiority of the tool based on its level of innovation and impact on IoT security in the home.

Judging criteria also includes how easy the tool is for the average consumer to use, how it communicates the risk mitigation it provides and how it allows consumers to control information sent to third parties. Up to 20 contestants will be selected in the first round, where judges will only assess videos and abstracts, the FTC said . Qualifying contestants will move on to the final round where more detailed explanations will be considered. Judges include Georgia Weidman, chief technology officer of mobile security firm Shevirah; L . Jean Camp, professor at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University; Tadayoshi Kohno, Short-Dooley Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington; David Wollman, deputy director of the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office of the US Department of Commerce s National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Dan Klinedinst, a vulnerability researcher at Carnegie Mellon University s CERT Coordination Center, which says its mission is to anticipate and solve the nation s cybersecurity challenges. Further, the FTC said this is the fourth government contest under the America Competes Act6 and the first one addressing the Internet of Things. And while Shiva Vannavada, CTO of digital marketing company iCrossing, said it s good the FTC is taking action, he was nevertheless skeptical this particular contest would result in real security solutions. You ll likely see security firms and product companies like Symantec, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, Amazon etc . be first to introduce security that is lasting and truly valuable, he said .

Entities like the FTC would be wise to work more closely with these larger companies, who have the resources to be ahead in this game, to develop a set of standardized guidelines that can help bring clarity and comfort to all of the audiences impacted by these technologies.


  1. ^ a contest offering a cash prize (
  2. ^ as more and more devices around consumers homes become connected and vulnerabilities increase (
  3. ^ IoT Home Inspector Challenge (
  4. ^ out-of-date software in connected devices (
  5. ^ the FTC (
  6. ^ America Competes Act (

Security Officer – Kingdom

Security Officer - KingdomAn excellent opportunity has arisen for a Corporate Security Officer to join Kingdom Security; one of the UK’s fastest growing security companies. In return we offer a company award scheme, optional work place pension, career progression and access to a substantial free online training academy for professional development. Kingdom has all the power of a national organisation you would expect but we support our service provision from our network of regional support offices.

We are looking to recruit an experienced full time Corporate Security Officer to conduct all security duties at the corporate office building located in Central London – Grosvenor St (W1K)

Pay rate 8.50 p/h (pay rise due in April to London Living Wage) shifts 19.00 – 07.00 or 07.00 – 19.00 shift pattern 5 and 4 shifts pattern

Days, nights, weekends

**Person specification: ** To be considered for this position, you will need:

  • A valid SIA licence;
  • A full five year checkable employment history;
  • Smart appearance
  • Excellent customer service skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; written and verbal English language
  • Organised, an ability to work on own
  • An enthusiastic, self-motivated and flexible approach.
  • IT skills

**Responsibilities: ** The Security Officer will be required to:

  • Act as the first point of contact for visitors to the site;
  • Liaise with client to fulfil security requirements on site;
  • Complete various security documentation;
  • Liaise with manager effectively and efficiently;
  • Protect the image of high profile client and Kingdom;
  • Supervise and control site access;
  • Conduct regular site patrols;
  • Where appropriate and trained act as incident first responder.

If you meet the criteria above and would like to be part of an industry leading and respected security company, please apply online today to be considered for the role, please send CV to

Excerpt from: Security Officer – Kingdom

Police step up security in Istanbul as manhunt continues

Police in Istanbul are checking cars and passengers at various checkpoints across the Turkish city amid tightening security on Wednesday. The checks were being carried out as the manhunt continues for the suspect behind the Reina nightclub attack on New Year’s Day. Authorities have identified the attacker, but have not revealed his name.

On Sunday, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated their travel advice for British tourists to the country and said: “There is an ongoing police operation in Istanbul as a result of the attack.”

They added: “You should exercise vigilance and caution at this time, and follow the advice and instructions of the security authorities.”