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Tern - a second prize Geek adds in a few more questions

By Tom Winnifrith | Sunday 6 September 2015

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Geeks are like London buses. It seems you wait ages for one and then they all come at once. Unfortuanately for Tern (TERN) it is Tern that they are coming for. We just posted a detailed critique from one Geek HERE and a second one pops up with a short volley of additional questions: 

* Who in their right mind would punt all their "secure" traffic through some tiny outfit's server farm hosted on cloud storage with no production service level agreement 
* If the "cloud" goes down so does ALL of their M2M / IoT traffic 
* This kind of M2M traffic is reliant on hardened technology with massive uptime demands
In summary, I don't think clients would funnel all of their traffic through a single point of failure which in the event of an outage would take the whole client down.

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More on TERN



  1. I shouldn’t but..

    Assuming Tern/Cryptosoft is, in part, predicated on the IOT ‘Smart/Dumb’ meters thing then Cloud Computing may not be so much of a problem. After all it is not as if your soon to be re-skilled meter reader knocks on the door when you are in so The Cloud going titz up for a couple of hours will not be an issue.

    Of course it is still the case that such solutions are available to any Tom/Dick/Harry who is capable of and wants to spin one up.

    Elsewhere for PIMPs, Private Investor Mug Punters, and GIMPs, Gullible Investor Mug Punters, this still represents a huge opportunity to waste their own or others money on the Casino and possibly pocket someone else’s losses whilst allowing the rest of the machine to cream their take off the top.

    I mention ‘Smart/Dumb’ meters because, despite advice from the Geeks that the consumer will lose out, .GOV still appears to be ‘hot to trot’ on the idea so it is a ‘band wagon’ Tern/Cryptosoft might like to trumpet/lobby about… Surprised the BBMs are not on that case already.

    Otherwise Cryptography for IOT things seems like/is a good idea for Internet Facing IOT devices. After all Iran might choose to retaliate for Stuxnet and switch all our fridges off whilst sticking all our washing machines on full rinse and 4600 spin cycles at the same time.

    Then again apparently Camerloon, disguised as .GOV/TMAY wishes to either ban or backdoor Cryptography so once he has had his way the Ayatollahs will find their way in, defrost our pork chops and blow up our washing machines.

    I guess whatever will etc but given Tern/Cryptosoft are already exposed to Amazon EC2 and have no protection for their ‘vapour-ware’ Mr Jeff Bezos will have already developed a cryptographically secure beer ordering fridge or he will have to ‘buy them up’. $$$ Natch.

    Still.. good to see Amazon is a ‘Client’. Erm. Wait! What!

  2. What’s the difference between a geek and a nerd – anyone (and the answer isn’t wealth)?

  3. Dedicated to Tern

    Tern! Tern! Tern!

  4. Cryptobod … I agree with you, however I was simplifying the argument to make a point.
    i.e. there’s no need to pass IoT traffic through a third party’s cloud hosted platform.
    The internet is inherently resilient so why funnel it through this platform?
    Also with end point encryption moving towards the physical hardware domain, it’s even less compelling.

  5. Sorry … forgot the punchline ..

    There’s already momentum gathering in the Open Source community on this subject so I dispute first mover too.
    This was presented at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas with the tagline “MatrixSSL Tiny is a lightweight TLS software implementation for IoT devices with limited memory to make secure communications among them, yet demand more robust security to prevent eavesdropping and tampering of network traffic.”

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