Smart secure homes: a solution to the cyber security threats in our smart homes

A smart home is made up of various smart devices connected to a network, each with a specific set of functions. These devices tend to simplify the lives of the users by providing services according to their requirements.Thus, resulting in a more comfortable, convenient and secure home.

Problems occur when home cyber security systems are not strong enough (due to poor configuration or default passwords, for example) to stop unauthorized people from compromising a device connected to the network. In addition, some of the devices installed in smart homes do not have enough processing power to implement strong security features. These problems can be solved by placing a security device between the modem connecting to the internet service provider (ISP) and the rest of the home network which aims to provide an extra layer of security in the network. This device can act as a firewall and/or an intrusion detection system (IDS).

The aim of this project is to implement a security device, using either a personal computer or a Raspberry Pi, that secures a home network whilst requiring minimal technical know-how from the user. Snort 3, an IDS that features a new design and a superset of Snort 2, was used to warn users if it detected a ping (ICMP) or SYN (half-open) flood attack, as illustrated in Figures 1 and 2.  Results obtained during these attacks, such as network throughput, percentage Central Processing Unit (CPU) and memory usage, determined which device was the most efficient and provided the best performance.  Snort 3 will also be configured to protect the internal network against such an attack. System’s strength can be further evaluated against other types of attacks such as HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) flood attacks.

Figure 1. SYN flood alerts on a personal computer
Figure 2. ICMP flood alerts on a personal computer

Student: Jayden Sinagra
Course: B.Sc. (Hons.) Computer Engineering
Supervisor: Prof. Victor Buttigieg