The Coalfire Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance. You'll also find information on Coalfire's insights into the unique cybersecurity issues that impact the industries we serve, including Cloud Service Providers, RetailFinancial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Payments, Government.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts.


  • IoT Part 3: Fire!

    Dan McInerney, Senior Security Consultant, Coalfire

    When we left off in Part 2 of our blog series, we had just identified the max temperature variable and set it to a much higher number. Our celebrations quickly ended, however. Upon flashing the firmware with the new edited max temperature variable, we realized that the printer would get up to around 261o Celsius then suddenly stop heating and cool back down to room temperature. At least one more security feature must have been implemented to prevent thermal runaway. Tracking this down was significantly harder than tracking down a variable with a known value.

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  • With IoT, Common Devices Pose New Threats

    Dan McInerney, Senior Security Consultant, Coalfire

    For Instance… Hackers Setting Your 3D Printer on Fire

    The world is careening toward the reality that almost all electronics in your home and business are connected to the internet. Many of these devices contain things like heating elements, batteries, and motors that are entirely software-controlled. Do you… trust them? Coalfire decided to see how low the barrier was for hackers to attempt to cause life-threatening harm by weaponizing one of today’s increasingly common and cheap devices. In this three-part blog post, we will identify the target, uncover challenges, and hopefully answer our query above.

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  • Forensics and the Internet of Things (IoT)

    Brian Prendergast, Senior Consultant, Cyber Risk Advisory - Forensics, Coalfire

    Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) means that billions of devices are connected to the Internet. People and organizations are looking to connect devices more frequently for automation, simplification, and the feature advantages the IoT delivers. Items such as smoke detectors, glasses, watches, ovens, refrigerators, garage doors, and more are connecting to the Internet, with most of the associated data saved to the Cloud.

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  • NIST Interagency Report on IoT: An Incremental Step Toward IoT Standards

    Abel Sussman, Senior Project Manager, Commercial Services, Coalfire

    The Internet of Things (IoT) has been widely regarded as representing a significant cybersecurity risk, which will only grow as connected devices continue to proliferate. As an important step in addressing these concerns, the Interagency International Cybersecurity Standardization Working Group (IICS WG) has developed a draft National Institute of Standards and Technology Interagency Report (NISTIR) 8200, Interagency Report on Status of International Cybersecurity Standardization for the Internet of Things (IoT). The report’s intent is to inform and enable policymakers, managers, and standards participants to seek timely development and use of cybersecurity standards in IoT components, systems, and services.

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  • Look Out! Risk Is on the Move, According to IoT Thought Leaders from Across the Globe

    Deborah McLain, Director, Heathcare & Life Sciences, Coalfire

    The IoT Security Summit 2017 in New York City in late October and the Security of Things World USA 2017 in San Diego last month were both packed with thought leaders from all parts of the IoT ecosystem – device manufacturers, telecom carriers, cloud providers, and early-adopter end users from vertical industries. They came, they saw, and they tried to conquer the many security challenges faced by organizations when implementing IoT initiatives . . . but came away with many unanswered questions.

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