35th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC 2019)

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Aegis: A Context-aware Security Framework for Smart Home Systems

Our everyday lives are expanding fast with the introduction of new Smart Home Systems (SHSs). Today, a myriad of SHS devices and applications are widely available to users and have already started to re-define our modern lives. Smart home users utilize the apps to control and automate such devices. Users can develop their own apps or easily download and install them from vendor-specific app markets. App-based SHSs offer many tangible benefits to our lives, but also unfold diverse security risks. Several attacks have already been reported for SHSs. However, current security solutions consider smart home devices and apps individually to detect malicious actions rather than the context of the SHS as a whole. The current mechanisms cannot capture user activities and sensor-device-user interactions in a holistic fashion. To address these issues, in this paper we introduce Aegis, a novel context-aware security framework to detect malicious behavior in a SHS. Specifically, Aegis observes the states of the connected smart home entities (sensors and devices) for different user activities and usage patterns in a SHS and builds a contextual model to differentiate between malicious and benign behavior. We evaluated the efficacy and performance of Aegis in multiple smart home settings (i.e., single bedroom, double bedroom, duplex) with real-life users performing day-to-day activities and real SHS devices. We also measured the performance of Aegis against five different malicious behaviors. Our detailed evaluation shows that Aegis can detect malicious behavior in SHS with high accuracy (over 95%) and secure the SHS regardless of the smart home layout, device configuration, installed apps, and enforced user policies. Finally, Aegis achieves minimum overhead in detecting malicious behavior in SHS, ensuring easy deployability in real-life smart environments.

Amit Kumar Sikder
Florida International University

Leonardo Babun
Florida International University

Hidayet Aksu
Florida International University

A. Selcuk Uluagac
Florida International University


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