Evolving attackers against wireless sensor networks using genetic programming
IET Wireless Sensor Systems
Recent hardware developments have made it possible for the Internet of Things (IoT) to be built. A wide variety of industry sectors, including manufacturing, utilities, agriculture, transportation, and healthcare are actively seeking to incorporate IoT technologies in their operations. The increased connectivity and data sharing that give IoT systems their advantages also increase their vulnerability to attack. In this study, the authors explore the automated generation of attacks using genetic
... programming (GP), so that defences can be tested objectively in advance of deployment. In the authors' system, the GPgenerated attackers targeted publish-subscribe communications within a wireless sensor networks that was protected by an artificial immune intrusion detection system (IDS) taken from the literature. The GP attackers successfully suppressed more legitimate messages than the hand-coded attack used originally to test the IDS, whilst reducing the likelihood of detection. Based on the results, it was possible to reconfigure the IDS to improve its performance. Whilst the experiments were focussed on establishing a proof-of-principle rather than a turnkey solution, they indicate that GP-generated attackers have the potential to improve the protection of systems with large attack surfaces, in a way that is complementary to traditional testing and certification.