Pitney & Bug Labs Create Secure Mobile Device Development Platform
Pitney Bowes disclosed last week that it’s been working for over a year with the open source company Bug Labs on a product Bug Labs calls BUGsecure that includes Pitney’s special tamper-proof security chip.
Combined with Pitney’s's enterprise-class management services the widgetry is meant to be a modular new high-security platform used to prototype, pilot and produce new wireless devices, services and applications.
It will be part of Bug Lab’s flagship open source device prototyping platform. Bug Labs kicked in its BUGbase 2.0 motherboard and associated technology. The result is supposed to be the first modular mobile device development platform incorporating hardware-level security and security lifecycle management services.
Bug Labs described the chip as being the same one that’s in every Pitney Bowes mailing/postage machine whether it’s a desktop unit or a room-size system, widgetry that secures over $5 billion worth of postage transactions every year worldwide.
It’s a tamper-proof, cryptographic key store that provides an ultra-high security source for encryption keys with which to sign data.
Bug Labs says this kind of signature is essential for applications where the risks of fraud are high or a bulletproof audit trail is needed such pharmaceutical, financial, regulatory and safety applications.
According to Bug Labs software-level security frameworks and protocols, while suitable for many uses, do not provide the level of certitude that a hardware key store does leaving them prey to malicious programs, rogue code and user actions.
BUGsecure is supposed to provide a deeper level of security by fully protecting the device’s hardware and operating system, not just its application software.
Pitney’s chip provides cryptographic processing, a secure time source, transaction management, remote security lifecycle management and third-party server validation.
The widgetry, which will be shown at CTIA in Orlando, Florida this week, is compatible with 3G and 4G mobile development platforms.
Bug Labs is making a Lego-like hardware platform that enthusiasts, engineers or companies can use to create their own custom digital devices.
Task-specific Bugmodules for such things as an LCD screen, digital camera, GPS unit, motion sensor and keyboard can be added to BUGbase, a small general-purpose computer built around a 600MHz ARM Cortex A-8 processor made by Texas Instruments.
The pair said in a statement that “enterprises today are looking to capitalize on the growing demand for innovative machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless devices, but are also under pressure to produce new devices that are safeguarded from potential holes that current mobile security solutions cannot fill. In addition, the security of wireless device data is critical to help ensure it cannot be manipulated and modified, which can result in risk exposure and a damaging loss of revenue for enterprises. Bug Labs and Pitney Bowes developed BUGsecure to empower enterprises to help eliminate these common security risks and develop new devices they can trust will protect sensitive data.”
Terms of their collaboration were not disclosed.