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Korea Telecom reveals blockchain IoT security service

Korea Telecom reveals blockchain IoT security service

On the 19th June, KT officially announced its blockchain service to secure Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices via satellite. KT (formerly Korea Telecom) is the countries largest telecoms company. This initiative, using KT’s GiGA Stealth technology, was demonstrated at last week’s ConnecTechAsia 2019 trade show amongst various other projects.

Other announcements included proposals such as quantum communication for the military and unmanned 5G connected search and rescue drones.

Developed by KT SAT, the firm’s satellite arm, the service utilizes GiGA Stealth to secure the CCTV on ships which use IoT terminals. To prevent hackers from accessing or controlling the cameras, IP addresses of the terminals will only be shown to permitted users. These users are verified by a smart contract on the GiGA Stealth blockchain.

KT has addressed a pressing issue in the world of the IoT. Hacking is no longer just about stealing personal details; objects such as self-driving cars or even smart homes could be taken over.

While there are many security recommendations for IoT devices, such as biometrics and two-factor authorization, one potential solution is blockchain IoT security. Blockchain, which is most familiar for bitcoin and Ethereum, offers an intriguing solution for IoT security. Blockchain contains strong protections against data tampering, locking access to Internet of Things devices, and allowing compromised devices in an IoT network to be shut down. Hyundai has recently backed a blockchain start-up that is specifically designed for IoT security. Called HDAC (Hyundai Digital Access Currency), this innovative approach creates a permissioned private network.

Using blockchain as a solution has been discussed in academic circles, with Hyundai taking an interest. However, KT’s solution demonstrated last week appears to be one of the first to take advantage of existing satellites and 5G connectivity.

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The company plans to initially use GiGA Stealth to address the B2B IoT security market with its eye on connected cars and smart factories. It works with existing systems with plans to enable it on the 5G network.

Last year KT revealed that it had developed its own blockchain protocol and managed to reach 10,000 transactions per second. It’s currently improving it but processing transactions in parallel to gain higher speeds. In March KT launched the GiGA Chain Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) platform to make it fasters to develop, deploy and host enterprise blockchain applications.

The company also announced its local currency platform. The idea is that local regions or companies can have their own currencies to enable free transactions. It’s not just free for consumers, but SME merchants wouldn’t need to pay card fees. KT won a contract for the Kimpo Pay platform which is for use only within Kimpo City.

GiGa Stealth was revealed in April, initially aimed at smart cars and factories. Last week’s announcement shows that KT is focusing more on intelligence and military applications, with the example of a shipowner monitoring the CCTV remotely and securely. Although CBSG’s solutions are tailored to telecoms, the Group feels that blockchain can extend services beyond their traditional market.

The company is also participating in the blockchain consortia Carrier Blockchain Study Group targeting inter carrier solutions for roaming.

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