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Title: A Capstone Project: Designing an IoT Threat Modeling to Prevent Cyber-attacks
The NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) Data Corporation report found that 80% of U.S. consumers are concerned about their smart home data security. The Internet of Things (IoT) technology brings many benefits to people's homes, and more people across the world are heavily dependent on the technology and its devices. However, many IoT devices are deployed without considering security, increasing the number of attack vectors available to attackers. Numerous Internet of Things devices lacking security features have been compromised by attackers, resulting in many security incidents. Attackers can infiltrate these smart home devices and control the home via turning off the lights, controlling the alarm systems, and unlocking the smart locks, to name a few. Attackers have also been able to access the smart home network, leading to data exfiltration. There are many threats that smart homes face, such as the Man-in-the-Middle (MIM) attacks, data and identity theft, and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. The hardware vulnerabilities often targeted by attackers are SPI, UART, JTAG, USB, etc. Therefore, to enhance the security of the smart devices used in our daily lives, threat modeling should be implemented early on in developing any given system. This past Spring semester, Morgan State University launched a (senior) capstone project targeting undergraduate (electrical) engineering students who were thus allowed to research with the Cybersecurity Assurance and Policy (CAP) center for four months. The primary purpose of the capstone was to help students further develop both hardware and software skills while researching. For this project, the students mainly focused on the Arduino Mega Board. Some of the expected outcomes for this capstone project include: 1) understanding the physical board components, 2) learning how to attack the board through the STRIDE technique, 3) generating a Data Flow Diagram (DFD) of the system using the Microsoft threat modeling tool, 4) understanding the attack patterns, and 5) generating the threat based on the user's input. To prevent future threats and attacks from taking advantage of systems vulnerabilities, the practice of "threat modeling" is implemented. This method allows the analysis of potential attackers, including their goals and techniques, while also providing solutions and mitigation strategies. Although Threat modeling can be performed throughout the development of a system, implementing it during developmental stages will prevent further problems in the future. Threat Modeling is crucial because it will help identify any potential threat before it propagates in the system. Identifying threats and providing countermeasures will save both time and money while also keeping the consumers safe. As a result, students must grow to understand how essential detecting and preventing attacks are to protect consumer information systems and networks. At the end of this capstone project, students should take away hands-on skills in cyber defense.  more » « less
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2021 Fall ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Meeting
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National Science Foundation
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