IoTAthena: Unveiling IoT Device Activities from Network Traffic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The recent spate of cyber attacks towards Internet of Things (IoT) devices in smart homes calls for effective techniques to understand, characterize, and unveil IoT device activities. In this paper, we present a new system, named IoTAthena, to unveil IoT device activities from raw network traffic consisting of timestamped IP packets. IoTAthena characterizes each IoT device activity using an activity signature consisting of an ordered sequence of IP packets with inter-packet time intervals. IoTAthena has two novel polynomial time algorithms, sigMatch and actExtract. For any given signature, sigMatch can capture all matches of the signature in the raw network traffic. Using sigMatch as a subfunction, actExtract can accurately unveil the sequence of various IoT device activities from the raw network traffic. Using the network traffic of heterogeneous IoT devices collected at the router of a real-world smart home testbed and a public IoT dataset, we demonstrate that IoTAthena is able to characterize and generate activity signatures of IoT device activities and accurately unveil the sequence of IoT device activities from raw network traffic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-664
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • IP packets
  • Wireless networking
  • network traffic collection and analysis
  • polynomial time algorithms
  • time-sensitive subsequence matching
  • unveiling IoT device activities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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