Internet DRAFT - draft-iab-iotsu-workshop


Network Working Group                                      H. Tschofenig
Internet-Draft                                               ARM Limited
Intended status: Informational                                S. Farrell
Expires: August 7, 2017                           Trinity College Dublin
                                                        February 3, 2017

    Report from the Internet of Things (IoT) Software Update (IoTSU)
                             Workshop 2016


   This document provides a summary of the 'Workshop on Internet of
   Things (IoT) Software Update (IOTSU)' which took place at Trinity
   College Dublin, Ireland on the 13th and 14th of June, 2016.  The main
   goal of the workshop was to foster a discussion on requirements,
   challenges and solutions for bringing software and firmware updates
   to IoT devices.  This report summarizes the discussions and lists
   recommendations to the standards community.

Status of This Memo

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on August 7, 2017.

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   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Requirements and Questions Arising  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  Authorizing a Software / Firmware Update  . . . . . . . . . .  12
   5.  End-of-Support  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   6.  Incentives  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   7.  Measurements and Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   8.  Firmware Distribution in Mesh Networks  . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   9.  Compromised Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   10. Miscellaneous Points  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   11. Tentative Conclusions and Next Steps  . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   12. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   13. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   14. Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   15. Appendix A: Program Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   16. Appendix B: Accepted Position Papers  . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   17. Appendix C: List of Participants  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
   18. Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25

1.  Introduction

   This document provides a summary of the 'Workshop on Internet of
   Things (IoT) Software Update (IOTSU)' [IoTSU], which took place at
   Trinity College Dublin, Ireland on the 13th and 14th of June, 2016.
   The main goal of the workshop was to foster a discussion on
   requirements, challenges and solutions for bringing software and
   firmware updates to IoT devices.

   The views and positions in this report are those of the workshop
   participants and do not necessarily reflect those of their employers/
   sponsors, the authors of this memo nor the Internet Architecture
   Board (IAB), under whose auspices the workshop was held.

   The IAB holds occasional workshops designed to consider long-term
   issues and strategies for the Internet, and to suggest future
   directions for the Internet architecture.  The topics investigated
   often require coordinated efforts of different organizations and
   industry bodies to improve an identified problem.  One of the goals
   of such workshops is to assist with communication between relevant
   organisations, companies and universities, specially when the topics

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   are partly out of the scope for the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  This long-term planning function of the IAB is complementary
   to the ongoing engineering efforts performed by working groups of the

   In his essay 'The Internet of Things Is Wildly Insecure And Often
   Unpatchable' [BS14] Bruce Schneier expressed concerns about the
   status of software/firmware updates for Internet of Things (IoT)
   devices.  IoT devices, which have a reputation for being insecure
   already at the time when they are manufactured, are often expected to
   stay active in the field for 10+ years and operate unattended with
   Internet connectivity.

   Incorporating a software update mechanism to fix vulnerabilities, to
   update configuration settings as well as adding new functionality is
   recommended by security experts but there are challenges when using
   software updates, as the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
   staff in their "Internet of Things - Privacy & Security in a
   Connected World" [FTC] and the Article 29 Working Party Opinion
   8/2014 on the on Recent Developments on the Internet of Things [WP29]

   Amongst the challenges in designing a basic software/firmware update
   function are:

   -  Implementations of software update mechanisms may incorporate
      vulnerabilities becoming an attractive attack target, see for
      example [OS14],

   -  Operational challenges such as the case of an expired certificate
      in a hub device [BB14],

   -  Privacy issues if devices "call home" often to check for updates

   -  A lack of incentives to distribute software updates along the
      value chain

   -  Who should be able to update device software after normal support
      stops?  When should an alternate source of software updates take

   There are various (often proprietary) software update mechanisms in
   use today and the functionality of those varies significantly with
   the envisioned use of the IoT devices.  More powerful IoT devices,
   such as those running general purpose operating systems (like Linux),
   can make use of sophisticated software update mechanisms known from
   the desktop and the mobile world.  This workshop focused on more

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   constrained IoT devices that often run dedicated real-time operating
   systems or potentially no operating system at all.

   There is a real risk that many IoT devices will continue to be
   shipped without a solid software/firmware update mechanism in place.
   Ideally, IoT software developers and product designers should be able
   to integrate standardized mechanisms that have experienced
   substantial review and where the documentation is available to the

   Hence, the IAB decided to organize a workshop to reach out to
   relevant stakeholders to explore the state-of-the-art and to identify
   requirements and gaps.  In particular, the call for position papers
   asked for

   -  Protocol mechanisms for distributing software updates.

   -  Mechanisms for securing software updates.

   -  Meta-data about software / firmware packages.

   -  Implications of operating system and hardware design on the
      software update mechanisms.

   -  Installation of software updates (in context of software and
      hardware security of IoT devices).

   -  Privacy implications of software update mechanisms.

   -  Implications of device ownership and control for software update.

   The rest of the document is organized as follows: Basic terminology
   is provided in Section 2 followed by a longer section discussing
   requirements.  Subsequent sections explore selected topics, such as
   incentives, and measurements, in more detail.  Most of the writeup
   does raise more questions than it answers.  Nevertheless, we tried to
   synthesise possible conclusions and offer a few next steps.

2.  Terminology

   As is typical with people from different backgrounds, workshop
   participants started the workshop with a discussions of terminology.
   This section is more intended to reflect those discussions than to
   present canonical definitions of terms.

   Device Classes:  IoT devices come in various "sizes" (such as size of
      RAM, or size of flash memory).  With these configurations devices
      are limited in what they can support in terms of operating system

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      features, cryptographic algorithms, and protocol stacks.  For this
      reason, the group differentiated two types of classes, namely ARM
      Cortex A-class / Intel Atom and Cortex M-class / Intel Quark types
      of devices.  A-class devices are equipped with powerful processors
      typically found in set-top boxes and home routers.  The Raspberry
      Pi is an example of a A-class device, which is capable of running
      a regular desktop operating system, such as Linux.  There are
      differences between the Intel and the ARM-based CPUs in terms of
      architecture, micro-code and who is allowed to update a BIOS (if
      available) and the micro-code.  A detailed discussion of these
      hardware architectural differences were, however, outside the
      scope of the workshop.  The implication is that lower-end
      microcontrollers have constraints that put restrictions on the
      amount of software that can be put on them.  While it is easy
      require support of a wide range of features those may not
      necessarily fit on these devices.

   Software Update and Firmware Update:  Based on the device classes it
      was observed that regular operating systems come with
      sophisticated software update mechanisms (such as RPM [rpm] or
      Pacman [pacman]) that make use of the operating system to install
      and run each application in a compartmentalized fashion.  Firmware
      updates typically do not provide such a fine-grained granularity
      for software updates and instead distribute the entire binary
      image, which consists of the (often minimalistic) operating system
      and all applications.  While the distinction between the
      mechanisms A-class and M-class devices will typically use may get
      more fuzzy over time, most M-class devices use firmware updates
      and A-class devices use a combination of firmware and software
      updates (with firmware updates being less frequent operations).

   Hitless Update:  A hitless update implies that the user experience is
      not "hit", i.e., it is not impacted.  It is possible to impact the
      user experience when applying an update even when the device does
      not reboot (to obtain or apply said update).  If the update is
      applied when a user is not using a product and their service is
      not impacted, the update is "hitless".

3.  Requirements and Questions Arising

   Workshop participants discussed requirements and several of these
   raised further questions.  As with the previous section we aim to
   present the discussion as it was.

   -  There may be a need to be support partial (differential) updates,
      that do not require the entire firmware image to be sent.  This
      may mean that techniques like bsdiff [bsdiff] and courgette
      [courgette] are used but might also mean devices supporting

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      download of applications and libraries alone.  The latter feature
      may require dynamic linking and position independent code.  It was
      unclear whether position independent code should be recommended
      for low-end IoT devices.

   -  The relative importance of dynamic linkers for low-end IoT devices
      is unclear.  Some operating systems used with M-class devices,
      such as Contiki, provide support for a dynamic linker according to
      [OS-Support].  This could help to minimize the amount of data
      transmitted during updates since only the modified application or
      library needs to be transmitted.

   -  How should dependencies among various software updates be handled?
      These dependencies may include information about the hardware
      platform and configuration as well as other software components
      running on a system.  For firmware updates the problem of
      dependencies are often solved by the manufacturer or OEM rather
      than on the device itself.

   -  Support for devices with multiple micro-controllers may required
      an architecture where one micro-controller is responsible for
      interacting with the update service and then dispatching software
      images to the attached micro-controllers within its local realm.
      The alternative of letting each microcontroller interact with an
      update service appeared less practical.

   -  Support may be required for devices with multiple owners/
      stakeholders where the question arises about who is authorized to
      push a firmware/software update.

   -  Data origin authentication (DAO) was agreed to be required for
      software updates.  Without DAO, updates simply become a perfect
      vulnerability.  It is however non-trivial to ensure the actual
      trust relationships that exist are modelled by the DAO mechanism.
      For some devices and deployment scenarios, any DAO mechanism is
      onerous, possibly to the point where it may be hard to convince a
      device-maker to include the functionality.

   -  Should digital signatures and encryption for software updates be
      recommended as a best current practice?  This question
      particualrly raises the question about the use of symmetric key
      cryptography since not all low end IoT devices are currently using
      asymmetric crypto.

   -  DAO is most commonly provided via digital signature mechanisms,
      but symmetric schemes could also be developed, though IETF
      discussion of such mechanisms (for purposes less sensitive than
      software update) has proved significantly controversial.  The main

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      problem seems to be that simple symmetric schemes only ensure that
      the sender is a member of a group and do not fully authenticate a
      specific sender.  And with software update, we do not want any
      (possibly compromised) device to be able to be authenticate new
      software for all other similar devices.

   -  What are the firmware update signing key requirements?  Since
      devices have a rather long lifetime there has to be a way to
      change the signing key during the lifetime of the device.

   -  Should a firmware update mechanism support multiple signatures of
      firmware images?  Multiple signatures can come in two different
      flavours, namely

         a single firmware image may be signed by multiple different
         parties.  In this case one could imagine an environment where
         an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) signs the software it
         creates but then the software is again signed by the enterprise
         that approves the distribution within the company.  Other
         examples include regulatory signatures where a the software for
         a medical device may be signed as approved by a certification

         a software image may contain libraries that are each signed by
         their developers.

      Is a device expected to verify the different types of signatures
      or is this rather a service provided by some non-constrained
      device?  This raises the question about who the IoT device should
      trust for what and whether transitive trust is acceptable for some
      types of devices?

   -  Are applications from a range of sources allowed to run on a
      device or only those from the OEM?  If the device is a "closed"
      device that only supports/runs software from the OEM then a single
      signature may be sufficient.  In any more "open" system, 3rd party
      applications may require support of multiple signatures.

   -  There is a need for some form of secure storage, at least for
      those IoT devices that are exposed to physical attacks.  This
      includes at least the need to protect the integrity of the public
      key of the update service on the device (if signature based DAO is
      in use).  The use of symmetric key cryptography requires improved
      confidentiality protection (in addition to integrity protection).

   -  Is there a need to allow the update infrastructure-side to
      authenticate the IoT device before distributing an update?
      Questions about the identifier used for such an authentication

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      action were raised.  The idea of re-use MAC addresses lead to
      concerns about the significant privacy implications of such
      identifier re-use.

   -  It is important to minimize device/service downtime due to update
      processing, minimize user interaction (e.g., car should not
      distract the driver) (see hitless updates).  While it may not be
      possible to avoid all downtime, there was agreement that one ought
      strive for "no inappropriate" device downtime.  This means minimal
      downtime impacting the user/operation of the device.  The
      definition of "downtime" also depends on the use case, with a
      smart light bulb, the device could be "up" if the light is still
      on, even if some advanced services are unavailable for a short
      time.  Whether an update can be done without rebooting the device
      depends on the software being installed, on the OS architecture,
      and potentially even on the hardware architecture.  The cost/
      benefit ratio also plays a role.

   -  It is desirable to minimise the time taken from the start of the
      update to when it is finished.  In some systems with many devices
      (e.g., industrial lighting) this can be a challenge if updates
      need to be unicasted.

   -  In some systems with multiple devices, it can be a challenge to
      ensure that all devices are at the same release level, especially
      if some devices are sleepy.  There are some systems where ensuring
      all relevant devices are at the same release level is a hard-
      requirement.  In other cases, it is acceptable if devices converge
      much more slowly to the current release level.

   -  It ought not be possible for a factory worker to compromise the
      update process (e.g., copy signing keys, install unauthorized
      public keys/trust anchors) during the manufacturing process.
      There are typically two factories involved, first the factory that
      produces microcontrollers and other components.  The second
      factory produces the complete product, such as a fridge.  This
      fridge contains many of the components previously manufactured.
      Hence, the firmware of components produced in the first stage may
      be 6 month old when the fridge leaves the factory.  One does not
      want to install a firmware update when the fridge boots the first
      time.  For that time the firmware update happens already at the
      end of the manufacturing process.

   -  Should devices have a recovery procedure when the device gets
      compromised?  How is the compromise detected?

   -  There was a bit of discussion about the importance for IoT devices
      to know the current time for the purpose of checking certificate

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      validity.  For example, what does "real-time clock" (RTC) actually
      mean?  And what constitute 'good enough' time?  There are,
      however, cost, power, size, and environmental constraints that can
      make the addition of a real-time clock to an IoT device complex:

      o  Cost: battery- or supercap-backed RTC modules might be several
         times the cost of the rest of the bill of materials.

      o  Size: the battery and other components are often several times
         larger than the rest of the material.

      o  Manufacturing: some modules require an extra assembly step,
         because the battery could be damaged/explodes at high
         temperature during the reflow process.

      o  Supply chain: devices containing fitted batteries need
         additional supply chain management to account for storage
         temperature and to avoid shipping aged devices.

      o  Environmental: Real-time-clock modules are typically not rated
         at industrial temperature ranges.  Those that are have
         extremely reduced lifetime at high temperatures.

      o  Lifetime: some of these modules last only a few years at the
         top of their environmental range.

      While a good solution is needed, it is not clear whether there is
      one true solution.  A recent proposal from Google called Roughtime
      [RT] may be worthwhile to explore.

   -  How do devices learn about a firmware update?  Push or Pull?  What
      should be required functionality for a firmware update protocol?

   -  There is a need to find out whether a software update was
      successful.  In one discussed solution the bootloader analyses the
      performance of the running image to determine which image to run
      (rather than just verifying the integrity of the received image).
      One of the key criteria is that the updated system is able to make
      a connection to the device management/software update
      infrastructure.  As long as it is able to talk to the update
      infrastructure it can receive another update.  As alternative
      perspective the argument was made that one needs to have a way to
      update the system without have the full system running.

   -  Gateway requirements.  In some deployments gateways terminate the
      IP-based protocol communication and use non-IP mechanisms to
      communicate with other micro-controllers, for example, within a
      car.  The gateway in such a system is the end point of the IP

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      communication.  The group had mixed feelings about the use of
      gateways vs the use of IP communication to every micro-controller.
      Participants argued that there is a lack of awareness of IPv6
      header compression (with the 6lowpan standards) and of the
      possible benefits of IPv6 in those environments in terms of
      lowering the complexity of the overall system.

   -  The amount of energy consumed due to software update needs to be
      minimized.  For example, awakening a sleepy device regularly only
      to check for new software would seem wasteful if the device cannot
      feasibly be exploited whilst asleep.  However, the trade-off is
      that once the device awakens with old software, there may be a
      window of vulnerability, if some relevant exploit has been

   -  The amount of storage required for update ought be minimized and
      can sometimes be significant.  However, there are also benefits to
      schemes that store two or three different software images for
      robustness, e.g., if one has space for separate current, last-
      known-good and being-updated images then devices can better
      survive the buggy occasional updates that are also inevitable.

   Which of the features discussed in the list above are nice to have?
   Which are required?  Not all of these are required to achieve
   improvement.  What are most important?

   Among the participants there was consensus that supporting signatures
   (for integrity and authentication) of the firmware image itself and
   the need for partial updates was seen as important.

   There were, however, also concerns regarding the performance
   implications since certain device categories may not utilize public
   key cryptography at all and hence only a symmetric key approach seems
   viable, unless some other scheme such as hash-based signature become
   practical (they currently aren't due to signature size).  This aspect
   raised concerns and trigger a discussions around the use of device
   management infrastructure, similar to Kerberos, that manages keys and
   distributes them to the appropriate parties.  As such, in this set-up
   there could be a unique key shared with the key distribution center
   but for use with specific services (such as a software update
   service) a fresh and unique secret would be distributed.

   In addition to the requirements for the end devices there are also
   infrastructure-related requirements.  The infrastructure may consist
   of servers in the local network and/or various servers deployed on
   the Internet.  It may also consist of some application layer
   gateways.  The potential benefits of having such a local server might

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   -  The local server acting for neighbouring nodes.  For example, in a
      vehicle one micro-controller can process all firmware updates and
      redistribute the relevant parts of those to interconnected micro-

   -  Local infrastructure could perform some digital signature checks
      on behalf of the devices, e.g., certificate revocation checking.

   -  Local multicast can enable transmission of the same update to many

   -  Local servers can hide complexity associated with NAT and
      Firewalls from the device

   Another point related to local infrastructure is that since many IoT
   devices will not be (directly) connected to the Internet, but only
   through a gateway, there may in any case be a need to develop a
   software / firmware update mechanism that works in environments where
   no end-to-end Internet connectivity exists.

   Some current firmware update schemes need to identify devices.
   Different design approaches are possible.

   -  In an extreme form in one case the decision about updating a
      device is made by the infrastructure based on the unique device
      identification.  The operator of the firmware update
      infrastructure knows about the hardware and software requirements
      for the IoT devices, knows about the policy for updating the
      device, etc.  The device itself is provisioned with credentials so
      that it can verify a firmware update coming from an authorized

   -  In another extreme the device has knowledge about the software and
      hardware configuration and possible dependencies.  It consults
      software repositories to obtain those software packages that are
      most appropriate.  Verifying the authenticity of the software
      packages/firmware images will still be required.

   Hence, in some deployed software update mechanisms there is no desire
   for the device to be identified beyond the need to exchange
   information about most recent software versions.  For other devices,
   it is seen as important to identify the device itself in order to
   provide the appropriate firmware image/software packages.

   Related to device identification various privacy concerns arise, such
   as the need to determine what information is provided to whom and the
   uses to which this information is put.  For IoT devices where there
   is a close relationship to an individual (see [RFC6973]) privacy

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   concerns are likely higher than for devices where such a relationship
   does not exist (e.g., a sensor measuring concrete).  The software /
   firmware update mechanism should, however, not make the privacy
   situation of IoT devices worse.  The proposal from the group was to
   introduce a minimal requirement of not sending any new identifiers
   over an unencrypted channel as part of an update protocol.

   Software update will however provide yet another venue in which the
   tension between those advocating better privacy and those seeking to
   monetize information will play out.  It is in the nature of software
   update that it requires devices to sometimes "call home" and such
   interactions provide fertile ground for monetization.

4.  Authorizing a Software / Firmware Update

   There were quite a few points revolving around authorization.

   -  Who can accept or reject an update?  Is it the owner of the
      device, or the user or both?  The user may not necessarily be the

   -  With products that fall under a regulatory structure, such as
      healthcare, you don't want firmware other than what has been

   -  In some cases it will be very difficult for a firmware update
      system to communicate to users that an update is available.  Doing
      so may requires tracking the device and it's status with regards
      to the installed firmware/software, with all the privacy downsides
      if such tracking is badly done.

   -  Not all updates are the same.  Security updates are often treated
      differently compared to feature updates and the authorization for
      these may differ.

   -  Some people may choose to decline updates, often on the basis that
      their system is currently stable, but also possibly due to
      concerns about unwanted changes, such as the HP printer firmware
      update pushed in March 2016 [HP-Firmware] that turned off features
      that end-users liked.

5.  End-of-Support

   There was quite a bit of discussion about end-of-support for
   products/devices and how to handle that.

   -  How should end-of-support, or end-of-features be treated?  Devices
      are often deployed for 10+ years (or even longer in some

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      verticals).  Device-makers may not want or be able to support
      software and services for such an extended period of time.  Will
      these devices stop working after a certain, previously unannounced
      period of time, such as Eye-Fi cards [eyefi].

   -  There will be a broad range of device-makers involved in IoT, who
      may differ substantially in terms of how well they can handle the
      full device life-cycle.  Some will be large commercial enterprises
      who are used to dealing with long device life times, whilst others
      may be very small commercial entities where the device lifetime
      may be longer than the company life-time.  Yet other devices may
      be the result of open-source activities that prosper or flounder.
      The problem of end-of-support arises in all these cases, though
      feasible solutions for software update may substantially differ.
      In some cases device-makers may not be willing to continue to
      update devices, for example due to a change in business strategies
      caused by a merger.  In yet other cases a company may have gone

   -  While there are many legal, ethical, and business related
      questions can we technically enable transfer of device service to
      another provider?  Could there even be business models for
      entities that take over device updates for original device-makers
      who no longer wish to handle software update?

   -  The release of code, as it was done with the Little Printer
      manufactured and developed by a company called Berg
      [LittlePrinter], could provide a useful example.  While the
      community took over the support in that case, this can hardly be
      assumed in all cases.  Just releasing the source code for a device
      will not necessarily motivate others to work on the code, to fix
      bugs or to maintain a service.  Nevertheless, escrowing code so
      that the community can take it over if a company fails is one
      possible option.

   -  The situation gets more complex when the device has security
      mechanisms to ensure that only selected parties are allowed to
      update the device (which is really a basic requirement for any
      secure software update).  In this case, private signing keys (or
      similar) may need to be made available as well, which could
      introduce security problems for already deployed software.  In the
      best case it changes assumptions made about the trust model and
      about who can submit updates.

   -  How should deployed devices behave when they are end-of-support
      and support ends?  Many of them may still function normally, but
      others may fail due to the absence of cloud infrastructure
      services.  Some products are probably expected to fail safely,

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      similarly to a smoke alarm that makes a loud noise when the
      battery becomes empty.  Cell phones without a contract can, in
      some countries, still be used for emergency services (although at
      the expense of the society due to untraceable hoax calls), as
      discussed in RFC 7406 [RFC7406].

   The recommendation that can be provided to device-makers and users is
   to think about the end-of-support, end-of-support scenarios ahead of
   time and plan for those.  While device-makers rarely want to consider
   what happens if their business fails it is definitely legitimate to
   consider scenarios where they are hugely successful and want to
   evolve a product line instead of supporting previously sold products
   forever.  Maybe there is also a value in subscription-based models
   where product and device support is only provided as long as the
   subscription is paid.  Without a subscription the product is
   deactivated and cannot pose a threat to the Internet at large.

6.  Incentives

   Workshop participants also discussed how to create incentives for
   companies to ship software updates, which is particularly important
   for products that will be deployed in the market for a long time.  It
   is also further complicated by complex value chains.

   -  Companies shipping software updates benefit from improved
      security.  Their devices are less likely to be abused as a vector
      to launch other attacks, whether on their own networks, or (as
      part of a botnet) on other Internet hosts.  This clearly creates
      an incentive to support and use software updates.

   -  On the other hand updates can also break things.  The negative
      customer experience can be due to service interruptions during or
      after the update process but can also result from bad experience
      from deliberate changes introduced as part of an update - such as
      a feature that is not available anymore, or that a "bug" that
      another service has relied upon being fixed.

   -  For most classes of device, there does not seem to be a regulatory
      requirement to report or fix, vulnerabilities, similar to data
      breach notification laws.

   -  Subscription models for device management were suggested so that
      companies providing the service have an economic interest in
      keeping devices online (and updated for that).

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7.  Measurements and Analysis

   From a security point of view it is important to know what devices
   are out there and what version of software they run.  One workshop
   paper [plonka] reported measurements with initial done on buggy
   devices first distributed in 2003 that were still detectable in
   significant numbers just before the workshop 13 years later.  As
   such, in addition to the firmware update mechanism companies have
   been offering device management solutions that allow OEMs to keep
   track of their devices.  Tracking these devices and their status is
   still challenging since some devices are only connect irregularly or
   are only turned on when needed (such as a hockey alarm that is only
   turned on before a match).

   Various stakeholders have a justified interest in knowing something
   about deployed devices.  For example,

   -  Manufacturers and other players in the supply chain are interested
      to know what devices are out there, how many have been sold, what
      devices are out there but have not been sold.  This could help to
      understand which firmware versions to support for how long.

   -  Device users, owners, and customers these may want to know what
      devices are installed over a longer period of time, what software/
      firmware version is the device running, what is uptime of each of
      these devices, what types of faults have occurred, etc.  Forgotten
      devices may pose problems, particularly if they (have the
      potential to) behave badly.

   -  To an extent, network operators offering services to device owners
      and other actors may also need similar information, for example to
      control botnets.

   -  Researchers doing analysis on the state of the Internet ecosystem
      (such as what protocols are being used, how much data IoT devices
      generate, etc. need measurements for their work.

   There can easily be some invasiveness in approaches to acquiring such
   measurements.  The challenge was put forward to find ways to create
   measurement infrastructures that are privacy preserving.  Arnar
   Birgisson noted that there are privacy-preserving statistical
   techniques, such as RAPPOR [RAPPOR], and Ned Smith added that
   techniques like Intel's Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID) may play a role in
   maintaining some level anonymity for the IoT device (owners) while
   also enabling measurement.  It seemed clear that naive approaches to
   measurement (e.g., where devices are willing to expose a unique
   identifier to anyone on request) are unlikely to prove sufficient.

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8.  Firmware Distribution in Mesh Networks

   There was some discussion of the requirements for mesh-based
   networks, mainly relating to industrial lighting.  In these networks,
   software update can impose unacceptable performance burdens,
   especially if there are many devices, some of which may be are

   The workshop discussed whether some forms of multicast (perhaps not
   IP multicast) would be needed to provide acceptable solutions for
   software update in such cases.  It was not clear at which layer a
   multi-cast solution might be effective in such cases, though there
   did seem to be no clearly applicable standards-based approach that
   was available at the time of the workshop.

9.  Compromised Devices

   There was a recognition that there are, and perhaps always will be,
   large numbers of devices that can be, or have been compromised.
   While updating these can mitigate problems, there will always be new
   devices added to networks that cannot be updated (for various
   reasons) so the question of what, if anything, to do about
   compromised devices was discussed.

   -  There may be value if it were possible to single out a device,
      which shows faulty behavior or has been compromised, and to shut
      that down in some sense.

   -  Prior work in the IETF on Network Endpoint Assessment (NEA) [NEA]
      allowed assessing the "posture" of devices.  Posture refers to the
      hardware or software configuration of a device and may include
      knowledge that software installed is up-to-date.  The obtained
      information can then be used by some network infrastructure to
      create a quarantined region network around the device.

   -  RFC 6561 [RFC6561] describes one scheme for an ISP to send
      "signals" to customers about hosts (usually those that are part of
      a botnets or generating spam) in their home network.

   -  Neither RFC 6561 nor NEA has found widespread deployment.  Whether
      such mechanisms can be more successful in the IoT environment has
      yet to be studied.

   The conclusion of the discussion at the workshop itself was that
   there is some interest to identify and stop misbehaving devices but
   the actual solution mechanisms are unclear.

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10.  Miscellaneous Points

   There were a number of points discussed at the workshop that don't
   neatly fit under the above headings but that are worth recording.
   Those included:

   -  Complex questions can arise when considering the impact of the
      lack of updates on other devices, other persons, or the public in
      general.  If I don't update my device and that is used to attack a
      random host on the Internet, then what incentive do I have to do
      updates?  What incentive has my device's vendor to have done that
      in advance?  An example of such a case can be found in DDoS
      attacks from IoT devices, such as printers [SNMP-DDOS] and cameras

   -  With some IoT devices there are many stakeholders contributing to
      the end product (e.g., contributing different subsystems) and
      ensuring that vulnerabilities are fixed and software/firmware
      updates are communicated through the value chain is known to be
      difficult, as demonstrated in [OS14].

   -  What about forgotten devices?  There are many such, and will be
      more.  Even though they are forgotten, such devices may be useless
      consumers of electricity, or may be part of some critical system.

   -  Can we determine whether an update impacts other devices in the
      Internet?  Updates to one device can have unintended impact on
      other devices that depend on it.  This can have cascading effects
      if we are not careful.  Changing the format of the output of a
      sensor could have cascading impacts, e.g., if some actuator reacts
      to the presence/absence of that sensor's data.

   -  How should a device behave when it is running out-of-date
      software.  The example of a smoke alarm was mentioned.  We don't
      want 100 devices in a living room to start beeping when their
      batteries run low or when they cannot communicate with the cloud.
      But are devices supposed to simply stop working?

   -  The IETF has published a specification that uses the Cryptographic
      Message Syntax (CMS) to protect firmware packages, as described in
      RFC 4108 [RFC4108], which also contains meta-data to describe the
      firmware image itself.  During the workshop the question was
      raised whether a solution will in future be needed that is post-
      quantum secure.  A post-quantum cryptosystem is a system that is
      secure against quantum computers that have more than a trivial
      number of quantum bits.  It is open to conjecture whether it is
      feasible to build such a machine but current signature algorithms
      are known to not be post-quantum secure.  This would require

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      introducing technologies like the Hash-based Merkle Tree Signature
      (MTS) [housley-cms-mts-hash-sig], which was presented and
      discussed at the workshop.  The downside of such solutions are,
      their novelty, and for these use-cases, the fairly large signature
      or key sizes involved, e.g., depending on the parameters a
      signature could easily have a size of 5-10KiB [hashsig].  While it
      is likely that post-quantum secure signature algorithms will be
      needed for software update at some point in time, it may be the
      case that such algorithms will be needed sooner for services
      requiring long term confidentiality, (e.g., using TLS) so it was
      not clear that this application would be a first-mover in terms of
      post-quantum security.

   -  Many devices that use certificates do not check the revocation
      status of certificates, even though extensions like OSCP stapling
      exists [RFC6961] and is increasingly deployed with Web browsers.
      The workshop participants were inconclusive regarding the
      recommendations of certificate revocation checking although the
      importance has been recognized.  The reluctance of deploying
      certificate revocation deserves further investigations.

11.  Tentative Conclusions and Next Steps

   The workshop participants discussed some tentative conclusions and
   possible next steps:

   -  There was good agreement that having some standardized secure
      (authorized and authenticated) software update would be an
      improvement over having none.

   -  It would be valuable to find agreement on the right scope for a
      standardized software/firmware update mechanism.  It is not clear
      that an entire update system can or should be standardised but
      there may be some aspects of such solutions where standards would
      be beneficial, e.g., (meta-)data formats and/or protocols for
      distributing firmware updates.  More discussion is needed to
      identify which parts of the problem space could benefit from

   -  It will be useful to investigate solutions to install updates with
      no operation interruption as well as ways to distribute software
      updates without disrupting network operations (specifically in
      low-power wireless networks), including the development of a
      multicast transfer mechanism (with appropriate security).

   -  There will almost certainly be a need for a way to transfer
      authority/responsibility for updates, particularly considering

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      end-of-support cases.  This is very close to calling for a
      standard way to "root" devices as a feature of all devices.

   -  We would benefit from documentation of proofs-of-concept of
      software/firmware updates for constrained devices on different
      operating system architectures.  The IETF Light-Weight
      Implementation Guidance (lwig) working group may be a good venue
      for such documents.

12.  Security Considerations

   This document summarizes an IAB workshop on software/firmware updates
   and the entire content is therefore security related.  Standardizing
   and deploying a software/firmware update mechanism for use with IoT
   devices could help to fix security vulnerabilities faster and in some
   cases the only via to get vulnerability patched at all.

13.  IANA Considerations

   This document does not contain any requests to IANA.

14.  Acknowledgements

   We would like to thank all paper authors and participants for their
   contributions.  The IoTSU workshop is co-sponsored by the Internet
   Architecture Board and the Science Foundation Ireland funded CONNECT
   Centre for future networks and communications.  The programme
   committee would like to express their thanks to Comcast for
   sponsoring the social event.

15.  Appendix A: Program Committee

   The following individuals helped to organize the workshop: Jari
   Arkko, Arnar Birgisson, Carsten Bormann, Stephen Farrell, Russ
   Housley, Ned Smith, Robert Sparks, and Hannes Tschofenig.

16.  Appendix B: Accepted Position Papers

   The list of accepted position papers is below.  Links to these, and
   to the workshop agenda and raw minutes are accessible at:

   -  R.  Housley, 'Position Paper for Internet of Things Software
      Update Workshop (IoTSU)'

   -  D.  Thomas and A.  Beresford, 'Incentivising software updates'

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   -  L.  Zappaterra and E.  Dijk, Software Updates for Wireless
      Connected Lighting Systems: requirements, challenges and

   -  M.  Orehek and A.  Zugenmaier, 'Updates in IoT are more than just
      one iota'

   -  D.  Plonka and E.  Boschi, 'The Internet of Things Old and

   -  D.  Bosschaert, 'Using OSGi for an extensible, updatable and
      future proof IoT'

   -  A.  Padilla, E.  Baccelli, T.  Eichinger and K.  Schleiser, 'The
      Future of IoT Software Must be Updated'

   -  T.  Hardie, 'Software Update in a multi-system Internet of Things'

   -  R.  Sparks and B.  Campbell, 'Avoiding the Obsolete-Thing Event

   -  J.  Karkov, 'SW update for Long lived products'

   -  S.  Farrell, 'Some Software Update Requirements'

   -  S.  Chakrabarti, 'Internet Of Things Software Update Challenges:
      Ownership, Software Security & Services'

   -  M.  Kovatsch, A.  Scholz, and J.  Hund, 'Why Software Updates Are
      More Than a Security Issue'

   -  A.  Grau, 'Secure Software Updates for IoT Devices'

   -  Birr-Pixton, Electric Imp's experiences of upgrading half a
      million embedded devices'

   -  Y.  Zhang, J.  Yin, C.  Groves, and M.  Patel, 'oneM2M device
      management and software/firmware update'

   -  E.  Smith, M.  Stitt, R.  Ensink, and K.  Jager, 'User Experience
      (UX) Centric IoT Software Update'

   -  J.-P.  Fassino, E.A.  Moktad, J.-M.  Brun, 'Secure Firmware Update
      in Schneider Electric IOT-enabled offers'

   -  M.  Orehek, 'Summary of existing firmware update strategies for
      deeply embedded systems'

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   -  N.  Smith, 'Toward A Common Modeling Standard for Software Update
      and IoT Objects'

   -  S.  Schmidt, M.  Tausig, M.  Hudler, and G.  Simhandl, 'Secure
      Firmware Update Over the Air in the Internet of Things Focusing on
      Flexibility and Feasibility'

   -  A.  Adomnicai, J.  Fournier, L.  Masson, and A.  Tria, 'How
      careful should we be when implementing cryptography for software
      update mechanisms in the IoT?'

   -  V.  Prevelakis and H.  Hamad, 'Controlling Change via Policy

   -  H.  Birkholz, N.  Cam-Winget and C.  Bormann, 'IoT Software
      Updates need Security Automation'

   -  R.  Bisewski, 'Comparative Analysis of Distributed Repository
      Update Methodology and How CoAP-like Update Methods Could
      Alleviate Internet Strain for Devices that Constitute the Internet
      of Things'

   -  J.  Arrko, 'Architectural Considerations with Smart Objects and
      Software Updates'

   -  J.  Jimenez and M.  Ocak, 'Software Update Experiences for IoT'

   -  H.  Tschofenig, 'Software and Firmware Updates with the OMA LWM2M

17.  Appendix C: List of Participants

   -  Arnar Birgisson, Google

   -  Alan Grau, IconLabs

   -  Alexandre Adomnicai, Trusted Objects

   -  Alf Zugenmaier, Munich University of Applied Science

   -  Ben Campbell, Oracle

   -  Carsten Bormann, TZI University Bremen

   -  Daniel Thomas, University of Cambridge

   -  David Bosschaert, Adobe

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   -  David Malone, Maynooth University

   -  David Plonka, Akamai

   -  Doug Leith, Trinity College Dublin

   -  Emmanuel Baccelli, Inria

   -  Eric Smith, SpinDance

   -  Jean-Philippe Fassino, Schneider Electric

   -  Joergen Karkov, Grundfos

   -  Jonathon Dukes, Trinity College Dublin

   -  Joseph Birr-Pixton, Electric Imp

   -  Kaspar Schleiser, Freie Universitaet Berlin

   -  Luca Zappaterra, Philips Lighting Research

   -  Martin Orehek, Munich University of Applied Science

   -  Mathias Tausig, FH Campus Wien

   -  Matthias Kovatsch, Siemens

   -  Milan Patel, Huawei

   -  Ned Smith, Intel

   -  Robert Ensink, SpinDance

   -  Robert Sparks, Oracle

   -  Russ Housley, Vigil Security

   -  Samita Chakrabarti, Ericsson

   -  Stephen Farrell, Trinity College Dublin

   -  Vassilis Prevelakis, TU Braunschweig

   -  Hannes Tschofenig, ARM Ltd.

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18.  Informative References

   [BB14]     Barrett, B., "Winks Outage Shows Us How Frustrating Smart
              Homes Could Be", April 2014,

   [BS14]     Schneier, B., "The Internet of Things Is Wildly Insecure
              And Often Unpatchable", January 2014,

   [bsdiff]   Percival, C., "Binary diff/patch utility", September 2016,

              Google, "Software Updates - Courgette", September 2016,

              Goodin, D., "Record-breaking DDoS reportedly delivered by
              >145k hacked cameras", September 2016,

              WILL 'MAGICALLY' STOP WORKING ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2016", June
              2016, <

   [FTC]      Federal Trade Commission, "FTC Report on Internet of
              Things Urges Companies to Adopt Best Practices to Address
              Consumer Privacy and Security Risks", January 2015,

   [hashsig]  Langley, A., "Hash based signatures", July 2013,

              Housley, R., "Use of the Hash-based Merkle Tree Signature
              (MTS) Algorithm in the Cryptographic Message Syntax
              (CMS)", March 2016, <

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              BoingBoing, "HP detonates its timebomb - printers stop
              accepting third party ink en masse", September 2016,

   [IoTSU]    IAB, "Internet of Things Software Update Workshop
              (IoTSU)", June 2016,

              Berg, "The future of Little Printer", September 2014,

   [NEA]      IETF, "Network Endpoint Assessment (nea) (Concluded
              Working Group)", 2016,

              Dong, W., Chen, C., Liu, X., and J. Bu, "Providing OS
              Support for Wireless Sensor Networks - Challenges and
              Approaches", May 2010, <

   [OS14]     Oppenheim, L. and S. Tal, "Too Many Cooks - Exploiting the
              Internet-of-TR-069-Things", December 2014,

   [pacman]   -, "Pacman", 2016, <>.

   [plonka]   Plonka, D. and E. Boschi, "The Internet of Things Old and
              Unmanage", June 2016,

   [RAPPOR]   Erlingsson, U., Pihur, V., and A. Korolova, "RAPPOR", July
              2014, <>.

   [RFC4108]  Housley, R., "Using Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) to
              Protect Firmware Packages", RFC 4108,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4108, August 2005,

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   [RFC6561]  Livingood, J., Mody, N., and M. O'Reirdan,
              "Recommendations for the Remediation of Bots in ISP
              Networks", RFC 6561, DOI 10.17487/RFC6561, March 2012,

   [RFC6961]  Pettersen, Y., "The Transport Layer Security (TLS)
              Multiple Certificate Status Request Extension", RFC 6961,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6961, June 2013,

   [RFC6973]  Cooper, A., Tschofenig, H., Aboba, B., Peterson, J.,
              Morris, J., Hansen, M., and R. Smith, "Privacy
              Considerations for Internet Protocols", RFC 6973,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6973, July 2013,

   [RFC7406]  Schulzrinne, H., McCann, S., Bajko, G., Tschofenig, H.,
              and D. Kroeselberg, "Extensions to the Emergency Services
              Architecture for Dealing With Unauthenticated and
              Unauthorized Devices", RFC 7406, DOI 10.17487/RFC7406,
              December 2014, <>.

   [rpm]      -, "Red Hat Package Manager (RPM)", 2016,

   [RT]       Google, "Roughtime", September 2016,

              BITAG, "SNMP Reflected Amplification DDoS Attack
              Mitigation", August 2012,

   [WP29]     Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, "Opinion 8/2014
              on the on Recent Developments on the Internet of Things",
              September 2014, <

Authors' Addresses

   Hannes Tschofenig
   ARM Limited


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   Stephen Farrell
   Trinity College Dublin
   Dublin  2

   Phone: +353-1-896-2354

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