Critically Underrated: Studying the Data Distribution Service (DDS) Protocol

Despite being unknown even to industry practitioners, the Data Distribution Service (DDS) protocol has been in use for more than a decade. This middleware software technology is responsible for running billions of public and private devices and mechanisms currently in use. DDS is integral in embedded systems that require real-time machine-to-machine communication, facilitating a reliable communication layer between sensors, controllers, and actuators.

This technology is situated at the beginning of the supply chain as a layer that connects, controls, and monitors applications, sensors, and actuators, aimed at maintaining interoperability and fault tolerance. It is used in various critical sectors such as healthcare, transportation, industrial internet of things (IIoT), robotics, aeronautics, and the military, among others. Given these factors, this makes the middleware technology an attractive target for attackers.

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Source: Trend Micro