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CURATOR
A pinboard by
George Ng

I have a Doctorate in Biotechnology and an expert in machine learning based in Hong Kong.

PINBOARD SUMMARY

Medicine and food gets to consumers via a global supply chain, so ensuring quality is paramount

What Is the Blockchain And Should We Care?

The infamous UK 'horsemeat ' and Chinese fake baby formula scandals highlighted how hard it is to detect food fraud.

A novel solution could be the Blockchain, the technology powering the famous cryptocurrency - Bitcoin. The Blockchain is based on a shareable, digital ledger made up of 'blocks', which addresses the issue of transactional trust. When data is recorded into a new block, it is unchangeable making the blockchain a verifiable transactional record between parties. The Internet of Things (IOT) is the concept of connecting physical devices with on or off switches to the Internet.

What Are The Practical Applications?

The application of IOT in combination with Blockchain in food safety is not new. IBM had previously applied IOT and Blockchain to trace the provenance of food, like peanut butter and pork chops. Also, they have completed two pilots with Walmart - moving and tracking pork produce from Chinese farms and Latin American products to the United States. The technology allows Walmart to easily identify the producer and initiate recalls when peanut butter is of poor quality.

The blockchain has also been applied to trace the ingredients of pharmaceutical drugs and thus to authenticate the integrity of the drug supply chain. By combining Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies with blockchain, companies track drugs digitally.

Chronicled uses NFC stickers attached to consumer products and allow consumers to see every stage of the supply chain. This provides transparency about a product's source of origin and production history and information on whether companies abide by sustainable practices.

The Days Of Counterfeit Goods Are Numbered

An exciting development in provenance and authentication is the Cryptoseal - an adhesive from Chronicled.

The compromise-evident product registers the identity of an object and its registrant and asset metadata. This identity data is then immutably registered and verified on a blockchain, representing an important step towards immutable supply chain provenance and asset protection.

14 ITEMS PINNED

Blockchain-based secure firmware update for embedded devices in an Internet of Things environment

Abstract: Abstract Embedded devices are going to be used extremely in Internet of Things (IoT) environments. The small and tiny IoT devices will operate and communicate each other without involvement of users, while their operations must be correct and protected against various attacks. In this paper, we focus on a secure firmware update issue, which is a fundamental security challenge for the embedded devices in an IoT environment. A new firmware update scheme that utilizes a blockchain technology is proposed to securely check a firmware version, validate the correctness of firmware, and download the latest firmware for the embedded devices. In the proposed scheme, an embedded device requests its firmware update to nodes in a blockchain network and gets a response to determine whether its firmware is up-to-date or not. If not latest, the embedded device downloads the latest firmware from a peer-to-peer firmware sharing network of the nodes. Even in the case that the version of the firmware is up-to-date, its integrity, i.e., correctness of firmware, is checked. The proposed scheme guarantees that the embedded device’s firmware is up-to-date while not tampered. Attacks targeting known vulnerabilities on firmware of embedded devices are thus mitigated.AbstractEmbedded devices are going to be used extremely in Internet of Things (IoT) environments. The small and tiny IoT devices will operate and communicate each other without involvement of users, while their operations must be correct and protected against various attacks. In this paper, we focus on a secure firmware update issue, which is a fundamental security challenge for the embedded devices in an IoT environment. A new firmware update scheme that utilizes a blockchain technology is proposed to securely check a firmware version, validate the correctness of firmware, and download the latest firmware for the embedded devices. In the proposed scheme, an embedded device requests its firmware update to nodes in a blockchain network and gets a response to determine whether its firmware is up-to-date or not. If not latest, the embedded device downloads the latest firmware from a peer-to-peer firmware sharing network of the nodes. Even in the case that the version of the firmware is up-to-date, its integrity, i.e., correctness of firmware, is checked. The proposed scheme guarantees that the embedded device’s firmware is up-to-date while not tampered. Attacks targeting known vulnerabilities on firmware of embedded devices are thus mitigated.

Pub.: 13 Sep '16, Pinned: 08 Jun '17

Blockchain in internet of things: Challenges and Solutions

Abstract: The Internet of Things IoT is experiencing exponential growth in research and industry, but it still suffers from privacy and security vulnerabilities. Conventional security and privacy approaches tend to be inapplicable for IoT, mainly due to its decentralized topology and the resource-constraints of the majority of its devices. BlockChain BC that underpin the crypto-currency Bitcoin have been recently used to provide security and privacy in peer-to-peer networks with similar topologies to IoT. However, BCs are computationally expensive and involve high bandwidth overhead and delays, which are not suitable for IoT devices. This position paper proposes a new secure, private, and lightweight architecture for IoT, based on BC technology that eliminates the overhead of BC while maintaining most of its security and privacy benefits. The described method is investigated on a smart home application as a representative case study for broader IoT applications. The proposed architecture is hierarchical, and consists of smart homes, an overlay network and cloud storages coordinating data transactions with BC to provide privacy and security. Our design uses different types of BCs depending on where in the network hierarchy a transaction occurs, and uses distributed trust methods to ensure a decentralized topology. Qualitative evaluation of the architecture under common threat models highlights its effectiveness in providing security and privacy for IoT applications.

Pub.: 18 Aug '16, Pinned: 08 Jun '17

Radio frequency identification enabled wireless sensing for intelligent food logistics.

Abstract: Future technologies and applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) will evolve the process of the food supply chain and create added value of business. Radio frequency identifications (RFIDs) and wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have been considered as the key technological enablers. Intelligent tags, powered by autonomous energy, are attached on objects, networked by short-range wireless links, allowing the physical parameters such as temperatures and humidities as well as the location information to seamlessly integrate with the enterprise information system over the Internet. In this paper, challenges, considerations and design examples are reviewed from system, implementation and application perspectives, particularly with focus on intelligent packaging and logistics for the fresh food tracking and monitoring service. An IoT platform with a two-layer network architecture is introduced consisting of an asymmetric tag-reader link (RFID layer) and an ad-hoc link between readers (WSN layer), which are further connected to the Internet via cellular or Wi-Fi. Then, we provide insights into the enabling technology of RFID with sensing capabilities. Passive, semi-passive and active RFID solutions are discussed. In particular, we describe ultra-wideband radio RFID which has been considered as one of the most promising techniques for ultra-low-power and low-cost wireless sensing. Finally, an example is provided in the form of an application in fresh food tracking services and corresponding field testing results.

Pub.: 07 May '14, Pinned: 08 Jun '17