Safe 'sandbox' for the internet of the future

May 13, 2011

To better protect new Internet applications against hacker attacks and other types of manipulation, Siemens is taking part in the EU’s WebSand research project. In cooperation with partner organizations SAP, the University of Passau (Germany), the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), and the Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), Siemens will be working to develop technology that will help protect users who surf dynamic, interactive websites and to implement it in software over the next three years. The system will create a protected environment in which information can be used only in a controlled manner.

Social media services such as Facebook and Twitter are examples of how active content is becoming increasingly networked on the Web. So-called “mashups” combine content and functional elements from various sources at a single website — for example Facebook’s “I like it” function or a map from Google Maps. Although users can’t immediately recognize mashups, they pose a number of risks, including unauthorized access to personal data or monitoring of surfing behavior. 

The aim of the WebSand project is to make the composition of mashups more secure in order to protect users against the threat posed by the mashups’ active elements. The website providers often don’t control external content and can’t blindly trust it, which is why the researchers are looking for other ways to control the flow of information. To do this, the user is given a security module that can run all of the embedded applications in a secure mode. When a website is called up, potentially harmful program codes run in a “sandbox,” where they can’t cause any damage. 

The IT security experts at ’ central research unit Corporate Technology are contributing to the project their experience with a wide variety of applications. These applications include the company’s products for industrial automation, hospital information systems, and control centers for factories and power plants. The programs for these systems are already Web-based and subject to the same changes as all other Internet sites.

Explore further: Startups offer banking for smartphone users

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Understanding the social side of cyber-security issues

May 04, 2011

When Engin Kirda started focusing on cyber-security research 10 years ago, those primarily responsible for launching Internet attacks were teenagers out for kicks, he said. But the scope of threats existing ...

For software developers, more speed and mobility

Dec 14, 2010

Across the globe, technology and innovation are becoming increasingly more reliant on mobility and accessibility. For software developers working on highly complex projects, that means being able to save their ...

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

Aug 30, 2014

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

User comments : 0