Mon(IoT | ito)r Research Group
Welcome to the Mon(IoT)r Research Group at Northeastern University.Our research Contact us
The goal of the Mon(IoT)r research group is to provide awareness of the privacy implications of Internet of Things devices, and ultimately produce a means to inform users about what information they share.
What we do
The key research questions we are investigating in the Mon(IoT)r research group are:
- What personally identifiable information (PII) is being leaked, intentionally or otherwise, from IoT devices?
- What can we do to mitigate privacy risks beyond simply encrypting, modifying, or blocking PII?
Our methodology entails recording and analyzing all network traffic generated by a variety of IoT devices that we have acquired. We not only inspect traffic for PII in plaintext, but attempt to man-in-the-middle SSL connections to understand the contents of encrypted flows. Our analysis allows us to uncover how IoT devices are currently protecting users’ PII, and determine how easy or difficult it is to mount attacks against user privacy.
The Mon(IoT)r Lab
The Mon(IoT)r Lab is a first-of-its-kind IoT “living lab” for measuring IoT device network leakage. The lab consists of a “fishbowl” (glass walls) that encloses a space replete with smart devices. Specifically, all of the IoT devices in the lab are configured to use a router instrumented with packet-recording software. We use this lab to conduct controlled experiments, to observe IoT behavior in uncontrolled experiments (through its use by consenting researchers in the research group), and to provide demonstrations of security and privacy research.
There are two ways to get involved in the lab activities:
- Enroll in our IRB-approved research study with no minimum commitment
- Start a research collaboration with our team
If interested in getting involved you can contact any members of our team.
ReCon analyzes your network traffic to tell if personal information is being transmitted, and it doesn’t even need to know what is your personal information to work. It detects device/user identifiers used in tracking, geolocation leaks, unsafe password transmissions, and personal information such as name, address, gender, and relationship status. We make this information available to you via a private Web page, and allow you to tell us if we found important leaks, and whether we should block or modify them.
Meddle provides services that interpose on the traffic your device generates. It can block, shape, filter or otherwise modify traffic your device generates so that we can save you time, energy and money.