Today, the first official meeting of all project partners took place at the Department of Informatics at Universität Hamburg to kick off the project. (Photo: UHH/Schell)
Home networks have become an attrative target for attacks. A contributing factor is the trend towards smart home and the use of IoT devices in such networks. If such devices are infiltrated, they could, for example, be used to eavesdrop on users or made to execute actions not desired by users. They could even be the origin of subsequent attacks on other networks, e. g. if they are made part of a botnet. IoT devices are often not protected well: They may have been developed in a cost-effective manner and are typically designed to be easy to integrate into the network by plug-and-play, without the appropriate attention being given to security. The increasing popularity of work-from-home policies means that insecure devices in home networks pose an increasingly severe threat even for large organisations.
The aim of our project is to improve users’ self-determination and confidence in their use of digital technologies, applications and systems in their home network. To this end, we aim to develop an easily accessible and free mobile app, which provides users with an overview of the devices in their home network and performs simple vulnerability scans. An active sensor component for use on inexpensive USB compute sticks will be able to determine device fingerprints and continuously detect attacks on the protected home network. Finally, an active middlebox will be developed, which can break connections and isolate parts of the network in the event of an attack.
FIIPS@Home is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the Research Network Anonymisation. The project has a volume of 2.28 million euros. The BMBF provides 96% of the funding. The project started on December 15th, 2022 and will run for three years.