April 19, 2019
A project at Princeton University is studying IoT devices used in homes and, in the process, has developed a tool that can give individuals a great deal of insight into the IoT activity going on all around them.
The Princeton IoT Inspector is an application that uses ARP spoofing to find and monitor network devices in a building. After launching the MacOS application (Windows and Linux versions are planned for the near future), the Inspector uses a Chrome or Firefox browser window to allow the user to select which devices to monitor and see the results of the monitoring.
Inspector takes an inventory of IoT devices, allowing users to see whether there are any "hidden" IoT devices on their networks and in their buildings. Monitoring the traffic patterns and destination points for data from those devices will allow users to see where the information is going — and they can see if those destinations change, which could indicat a possible hack into the system. In addition, Inspector shows whether the data from a given device is encrypted and whether that encryption is based on newer, more secure, techniques.
In return for the information, data is uploaded to the Princeton research team. The team, led by Danny Y. Huang, PhD, has released the source code on GitHub, and allows a user to download or delete their data at any time.
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