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A taxonomy of cyber-physical threats and impact in the smart home

A taxonomy of cyber-physical threats and impact in the smart home

Heartfield, Ryan, Loukas, George ORCID: 0000-0003-3559-5182, Budimir, Sanja, Bezemskij, Anatolij, Fontaine, Johnny R. J., Filippoupolitis, Avgoustinos and Roesch, Etienne (2018) A taxonomy of cyber-physical threats and impact in the smart home. Computers and Security, 78. pp. 398-428. ISSN 0167-4048 (doi:

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In the past, home automation was a small market for technology enthusiasts. Interconnectivity between devices was down to the owner’s technical skills and creativity, while security was non-existent or primitive, because cyber threats were also largely non-existent or primitive. This is not the case any more. The adoption of Internet of Things technologies, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and an increasingly wide range of sensing and actuation capabilities has led to smart homes that are more practical, but also genuinely attractive targets for cyber attacks. Here, we classify applicable cyber threats according to a novel taxonomy, focusing not only on the attack vectors that can be used, but also the potential impact on the systems and ultimately on the occupants and their domestic life. Utilising the taxonomy, we classify twenty five different smart home attacks, providing further examples of legitimate, yet vulnerable smart home configurations which can lead to second-order attack vectors. We then review existing smart home defence mechanisms and discuss open research problems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Internet of Things, Security, Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Internet of Things and Security Research Centre (ISEC)
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2022 14:46

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