A First Step Towards Understanding Real-world Attacks on IoT Devices [article]

Armin Ziaie Tabari, Xinming Ou
2020 arXiv   pre-print
With the rapid growth of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, it is imperative to proactively understand the real-world cybersecurity threats posed to them. This paper describes our initial efforts towards building a honeypot ecosystem as a means to gathering and analyzing real attack data against IoT devices. A primary condition for a honeypot to yield useful insights is to let attackers believe they are real systems used by humans and organizations. IoT devices pose unique challenges in this
more » ... ect, due to the large variety of device types and the physical-connectedness nature. We thus create a multiphased approach in building a honeypot ecosystem, where researchers can gradually increase a low-interaction honeypot's sophistication in emulating an IoT device by observing real-world attackers' behaviors. We deployed honeypots both on-premise and in the cloud, with associated analysis and vetting infrastructures to ensure these honeypots cannot be easily identified as such and appear to be real systems. In doing so we were able to attract increasingly sophisticated attack data. We present the design of this honeypot ecosystem and our observation on the attack data so far. Our data shows that real-world attackers are explicitly going after IoT devices, and some captured activities seem to involve direct human interaction (as opposed to scripted automatic activities). We also build a low interaction honeypot for IoT cameras, called Honeycamera, that present to attackers seemingly real videos. This is our first step towards building a more comprehensive honeypot ecosystem that will allow researchers to gain concrete understanding of what attackers are going after on IoT devices, so as to more proactively protect them.
arXiv:2003.01218v1 fatcat:ey34gwllvngxdnvl7hzjsxdsga