Cyber ITL reveals testing methods, prepares for 2017 launch

CITL is working with Consumer Reports to design a consumer-friendly reporting scheme.
CITL is working with Consumer Reports to design a consumer-friendly reporting scheme.

The leaders of the non-profit group the Cyber Independent Testing Lab (CITL) gave an update on the organization's progress in creating a system to warn consumers on the cyber safety of the products they are purchasing.

Mudge Zatko, CITL director, told an audience at Def Con 24 that the project is moving along and expects to have the final results of its testing completed by 2017. He and Sarah Zatko, chief scientist for CITL, gave a breakdown on how different products are tested and graded.

CITL is working with Consumer Reports to design its reporting structure and showed off a grading system that combined elements from Consumer Reports, Energy Star and the car industry to create CITL's rating page. Software, like OSX, Chrome, Firefox, etc. will receive a numerical rating based on a huge number of variables that the CITL will test against, Zatko said.

He said he hoped the rating system will not only help consumers make smart choices when buying and using software, but that the research done can inform the software publishers of unknown problem which then can be fixed.

The CITL will expand the scope of the project to include Internet of Thing's devices starting next year, he said.

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