With smart sneakers privacy risks take a great leap

first_img 23 Share your voice The Nike Adapt BB, a pair of self-tying shoes, are controlled through an app.  Ariel Nunez / CNET I’m dribbling a basketball in one hand, with a phone in the other, adjusting the tightness on a pair of Nike’s Bluetooth-connected, self-tying Adapt BB sneakers on my feet. The futuristic shoes, which go on sale for $350 on Feb. 17, alternate between boa constrictor-tight and comfy slipper-loose as I toggle through the app like a child flicking a light switch for the first time. Goofing around, I try to grab my colleague’s phone so I can suffocate him via sneakers as we run around the basketball court at Nike’s headquarters in New York. All of a sudden, he isn’t trying to just play defense in basketball; he has to guard his phone, too. Athletic apparel companies like Nike, Under Armour and Puma may find themselves similarly on the defensive as they lead the charge to infuse technology into their sneakers. After all, the smarter the object, the more likely it is to be hacked. It’s a worrisome trend that industries are dealing with as they try to find the balance between adding convenience and protecting your privacy. Comments Nike’s Adapt BBs aren’t even the first pair of smart shoes. Under Armour has been making connected kicks for a while now — it’s on its fourth generation with its HOVR line, with an embedded chip that tracks your footsteps and running pace. Puma also entered the self-tying shoe world with the Puma Fit Intelligence line, which it announced Jan. 31. Nike and Under Armour say they’re taking data privacy and security seriously with their new shoes. Puma, which is expecting its self-tying sneakers release in 2020, didn’t offer details on its shoe security protocol. “On top of the Bluetooth security layers, we implemented a two-way authentication protocol to guarantee only the users’ device can control their shoes,” Nike said in a statement. “Players can play with confidence knowing that they, and only they, control their shoes.” Just for kicks As I’m walking around at the tightest setting available for the Adapt BBs, I think about how awful it would be if a star athlete was trapped in these shoes because of a hijacked phone. Or worse, if it were me! Admittedly, it’s an unlikely scenario. It’s only possible if somebody steals my phone and is within Bluetooth distance of the shoes. On top of the Adapt BB’s wireless security, the shoe is locked to the device you first paired it with. Even if someone else had your account information, they wouldn’t be able to log in from a distance and tighten your shoes from another phone, according to Nike. While Nike says it’s kept its connected sneakers safe from hackers, the concern is that as more companies try to make connected shoes, the chances of having a shoe eventually hacked will increase. “Nike has the size and resources to do this well,” said Andrew Tierney, a security researcher with Pen Test Partners. “I think the worry is about other vendors coming along. It could be the case that they would cut corners.” Tied up The Adapt BBs pair with Nike’s app through Bluetooth Low Energy, a connection protocol that’s often used in smart devices because it allows for longer battery life. The sneaker connection is encrypted, a Nike spokesman said. But Bluetooth Low Energy isn’t impervious. Security researchers have found issues with BLE chips that could have allowed hackers to spread malware across hospitals and factories. Several smart locks have been hacked over BLE, according to researchers. “BLE, in the last year, has shown to be hand-in-hand with bad security,” Tierney said. The security firm’s focus has been on products like locks and alarms, and fortunately, there’s a big difference between smart locks and sneakers when it comes to security via BLE. “With sneakers, you’re only going to have one person and one device paired to it. When you’re looking at a door lock, four to five people are supposed to be able to control it,” Tierney said. “It’s very easy to make Bluetooth pair to one device securely.” Soft ‘wear’ security With connected shoes, there are more concerns than just messing with your sneaker’s fit. These shoes are collecting data, like your steps, running pace and, in some cases, your height and weight. They’re using that data to make better sneakers, and also feeding it to artificial intelligence to offer you coaching tips for a better workout. sp19-bb-nike-adapt-shoe-screen-vert-01012019-re-native-1600Nike’s app will do more than just control the laces on your sneakers. The company wants to collect data through the app to help athletes with their performance. Nike “We are essentially putting a mobile research lab on the feet of athletes all over the world, and creating a whole new frontier to accelerate both product development and sports science,” Michael Donaghu, Nike’s vice president of innovation, said at an event last month. It makes sense that people are willing to share information with fitness apps, which they downloaded to help them live healthier lives. But the apps can’t help unless you hand over information like your diet and exercise routine. “Even with all of the privacy breach issues, consumers are still willing to give information,” Cleary said. “You just gotta show them what they get in return.” It means trusting companies like Nike and Under Armour with your workout information, the same way that Facebook and Google hope you trust them with data about your social life. Unlike social networks, though, sneaker companies aren’t looking to make money off of your data — at least directly. Under Armour’s privacy policy allows it to share your data for advertising and marketing purposes, and when you run, it can share your location data with third parties for personalized ads, with consent. App worries Nike and Under Armour say they have no plans to sell or share the information they collect with third parties. But just because they don’t have plans to share that data doesn’t mean it can’t be stolen. Last March, Under Armour said its MyFitnessPal app had been hacked, with thieves stealing data including usernames, email addresses and hashed passwords, from 150 million accounts. img-2478Inside the shoebox for Under Armour’s new line of HOVR sneakers, which have a chip inside that tracks your steps and running activity. Alfred Ng / CNET To use the connected footwear features on Under Armour’s new HOVR sneakers, you need to make an account and connect it with their the MapMyRun app, which has 260 million users. The app doesn’t have two-factor authentication, a standard security feature for protecting accounts from hackers. “We continually evaluate the privacy and security of our apps with keen attention to current privacy and security industry standards,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement. So even if the sneakers themselves are properly secured, the apps are another risk that come with connected shoes.  “We’ve seen this with fitness-tracking apps. There’s lots of things where the actual device is secure, but the cloud service behind it is awful,” Tierney said. “There’s potential for abuse there.” Security: Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night. Blockchain Decoded: CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin — and soon, too, a myriad services that will change your life. Being aware of the potential security risks is even more critical for fitness apps, considering that people are more likely to share sensitive information like location, running routes and health routines. Fitness tracker Strava’s “Global Heatmap” had a privacy fiasco a year ago when it was revealing exercise routes around secret US military positions. “These manufacturers are going to be subject to the same issues that our social networks are now under the microscope of,” said Brian Cleary, vice president of marketing at RedPoint Global, a customer data company. And while people will be buying smart sneakers for tech features like self-tying laces, the future is in the apps, Nike executives say. “In the future, the app will be that bridge to the powered athlete,” said Jordan Rice, Nike’s director of smart systems engineering. Once you put a device online, you’re introducing a new opportunity for attacks, whether it’s a Nest Camera blaring alarms or your smart TV playing a PewDiePie promotional clip. And shoes are hardly the first thing to go “smart” — there’s everything from litter boxes to weights and pillows. We are essentially putting a mobile research lab on the feet of athletes all over the world. Michael Donaghu, Nike’s vice president of innovation Now playing: Watch this: 4:36 Wearable Tech Security Tags Nike’s self-lacing sneaker will be worn in the NBAlast_img read more

Crystals take a chill pill A thermomechanical theory of lowtemperature melting

first_img Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. (Phys.org) — Virtual melting is a phase transition phenomenon associated with solid-solid phase transformation and relaxation of nonhydrostatic stresses and other effects in HMX explosives, as well as with crystal-crystal and crystal-amorphous phase transformation under high pressure. Since its initial formulation by Iowa State University Professor Valery I. Levitas and coworkers, virtual melting has been estimated to occur at 100 – 1000 °K below the material’s equilibrium melt temperature. Recently, however, Levitas and University of Texas Associate Professor Ramon Ravelo proposed a new deformation mechanism on which melting can occur at temperatures 4000 °K lower than the equilibrium melt temperature in materials subjected to high deviatoric stresses (where stress components vary by direction, and which control the degree of body distortion) in a shock wave. In addition, they’ve developed a novel thermomechanical theory of melting that predicts extremely large reduction in melting temperature. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Their next step, Levitas explains, was determining material parameters for a developed theory and application it to the specific melting process: While thermodynamic theory is quite universal and is applicable to any material, for some materials and loading conditions reduction in melting temperature can be small and for others very large. “This study was done through our synergistic collaboration: Ramon gave me parameters determined from his atomistic simulations for loading of copper and aluminum in several directions. “I then made thermodynamic predictions of the reduction in melting temperature for these specific materials.”There were also significant challenges in confirming virtual melting by large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. “Thermodynamic theory predicted how much melting temperature can be reduced due to uniaxial versus hydrostatic loading” Levitas explains. “For very high pressure this reduction was drastic: about 10,000 °K. The thermodynamic approach has important advantages in that it’s universal – for example, it’s not limited to specific materials and atomic structure. However, thermodynamics never says that some process will occur, but only that it can occur – that it’s thermodynamically admissible.”In contrast, Levitas notes, molecular dynamics simulations are performed for a specific material and atomic structure and interaction, but they reproduce all actual physical processes. “It may happen that while melting is possible from the thermodynamic point of view, it does not occur due to kinetic reasons or because other processes – such as dislocation plasticity or twinning – more rapidly release elastic stresses. Thus, one of the challenges in molecular dynamics simulations was to conceptually prove the existence of the virtual melting, which was done for the first time. Another challenge was to prove that the observed disordered state is indeed melt rather than an amorphous solid. Next, we had to investigate which parameters promote the melting, how actual melting temperature depends on them, and identify the lowest melting temperature.” Addressing these challenges required a range of insights, innovations and techniques. “I believe that the main insights and innovations were in our development of a combined thermodynamic and molecular dynamics approach, as well as in the proof of virtual melting existing in a shock wave several thousand degrees Kelvin below the melting temperature,” Levitas says. “Also, our results further support the idea that the virtual melting is a general phenomenon with various realizations.” While they previously suggested virtual melting as the mechanism of crystal-crystal phase transformation, amorphization and sublimation, here the scientists found that it also can serve as a mechanism of plastic deformation. “Lastly, since the thermodynamic features of the virtual melting here and in previous papers on phase transformations are quite similar, our first molecular dynamics confirmation of the virtual melting indirectly supports the plausibility of the virtual melting as an intermediate stage for phase transformations.”Levitas outlines how their findings impact nuclear explosions, meteorite impacts, and planned experiments in large laser facilities. “Virtual melting can compete with traditional mechanisms of plastic flow only at very high strain rates. Such conditions can be satisfied during nuclear explosions and meteorite impacts, which is why our results may be utilized for simulation of these phenomena.” Introducing new and completely unexpected deformation mechanisms, he adds, may also lead to essential progress in their understanding and predictive modeling.“The importance of such high strain rate regimes,” Levitas continues, “is supported by the fact that several laboratories around the world are now developing corresponding facilities for their experimental studies – and our results may find experimental confirmation in such studies. Finally,” Levitas notes, “due to the complexity of interpreting experimental results under such extreme conditions, it’s always good to have an idea about which phenomena could be found – and our virtual melting process is one of them.’Levitas also describes other areas of research and technology that might benefit from their findings. “In the current paper, virtual melting was conceptually confirmed by molecular dynamics simulations for the most unexpected case of metals, like copper and aluminum.” In these metals, traditional plasticity is very pronounced, which is why extremely high strain rates are required to activate an alternative mechanism like virtual melting. Since thermodynamic consideration is quite generic, this mechanism is expected in many other materials. “For materials with suppressed plasticity – for example, ceramics, high-strength alloys, or complex organic compounds – much lower strain rates may be required,” Levitas points out. “Then the virtual melting may play part in more traditional high-strain rate fields, like penetration of the projectile in a target in armor ceramic, propagation of shock waves, behavior of explosive materials, and deformation in shear bands.”Regarding next steps in their research, notes Levitas, “We plan to extend our thermodynamic approach for arbitrary 3D loading – in particular for deformation under high pressure and shear strains. It can also be extended for amorphization and sublimation, which can be considered as mechanisms of stress relaxation. Applying a phase field approach to the phenomena discussed is another important task. Finally,” Levitas concludes, “in molecular dynamic simulations we’ll study polycrystalline metals and materials with suppressed plasticity.” Explore further Spatial configuration can spark deja vu, psychology study reveals More information: Virtual melting as a new mechanism of stress relaxation under high strain rate loading, PNAS August 14, 2012 vol. 109 no. 33 13204-13207, doi:10.1073/pnas.1203285109 Levitas and Ravelo began their investigation when Levitas gave a talk on virtual melting in 2005 at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and there met Ravelo. “Ramon was very critical and asked a lot of questions,” Levitas recounts to Phys.org. “He noted that in atomistic simulations of shock wave propagation in defect-free crystals, it had been observed that disordering occurred at the shock front at temperatures much below the melt temperature at the corresponding shock pressure along some directions – but along others, melting occurred at or above the melting temperature.” Moreover, Levitas adds, it was common wisdom at the time that amorphization occurs due to the high stresses generated at the shock front. “This led us to ask, is the pre-melting observed in atomistic simulations due to mechanical instabilities, such as strain-induced amorphization, which are not related to melting? Or it is indeed virtual melting? Which loading parameters control the melting? What is the lowest temperature at which melting can occur? These were tough questions,” Levitas acknowledges, “and we then started our collaboration, which after seven years has resulted in the current paper.”Levitas relates the main challenges they faced. “I needed to develop a thermodynamic theory of melting under uniaxial straining typical for shock waves.” At the time, known theories for melting under nonhydrostatic conditions – that is, when loading is different in different directions – considered thermodynamic equilibrium to be between melt and nonhydrostatically stressed solid. Reduction in melting temperature due to nonhydrostatic stresses was estimated to be just 1 °K. “This definitely did not sound promising,” Levitas continues. “In contrast, melting in our case represents a deformation process and thermodynamic theory for processes was not developed. I did my best to develop a general formal theory and apply it to the specific processes, which Ramon observed in molecular dynamics simulations. “Since Ramon and I have different backgrounds and consider phenomena from completely different positions, one of the most challenging problems was to understand each other and to make our concepts consistent. A few times I misunderstood how Ramon verbally describes results of atomistic simulations, and developed a theory for the wrong scenarios. For example,” Levitas illustrates, “one time I used wrong the video player to play his movie with atomistic simulations and mistakenly observed that melting occurs at the surface of the sample only. I found this very exciting and developed a theory for this scenario, since it sounds reasonable that if uniaxially loaded sample melts along all the surfaces, it would become hydrostatically loaded and further melting would be impossible.” (A) Atomic configuration of Cu slab shocked to a pressure of 160 GPa (red atoms are solid, blue are liquid); (B and C) pressure and temperature profiles, respectively, along the shock direction. The temperature is normalized by the equilibrium melt temperature TmðpÞ at the corresponding shock pressure along the profile. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1203285109 Citation: Crystals take a chill pill: A thermomechanical theory of low-temperature melting (2012, August 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-crystals-chill-pill-thermomechanical-theory.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceslast_img read more