The One Big Threat When It Comes to Cyber-Security Has Nothing To Do With Software (Florida Trend)

The One Big Threat When It Comes to Cyber-Security Has Nothing To Do With Software

Though malicious software gets most of the attention when it comes to computer security, the biggest cyber-security threat right now is a hardware problem, says Mark Tehranipoor, director of the Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research (FICS).

Established in 2015 under the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida, FICS’ mission is to research all aspects of cyber-security, including hardware, network, mobile, big data, internet, applied crypto, social sciences and law. The organization’s research supports industry and government partners, but is also used to enhance the educational experience for graduate and undergraduate students at the college.

For several years, Tehranipoor says FICS has been watching the trend of companies moving the production of semi-conductor chips overseas. Most of the chips (the brains of a computer/phone/electronic device) are now produced in East Asia. Since these countries are not always strong allies, Tehranipoor says experts have been concerned for some time that the chips made overseas could be manipulated or tampered with.

“Imagine your cell phone comes to you and it has something extra in it that captures all of your personal information,” he says.

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