Title: End User Security and Privacy Concerns with Smart Homes

Advisors: Franzi Roesner and Yoshi Kohno

Abstract: The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming increasingly widespread in home environments. Consumers are transforming their homes into smart homes, with internet-connected sensors, lights, appliances and locks, controlled by voice or other user-defined automations. Security experts have identified numerous concerns with IoT and smart homes, including vulnerable and unreliable devices, and the privacy risks of internet-connected sensors in the home. These concerns are supported by recent high profile attacks, such as the Mirai DDoS attacks.

However, little work has studied the security and privacy concerns of end users who live with smart home systems. To bridge this gap, we conduct semi-structured interviews with 15 people living in smart homes (12 smart home administrators and 3 other residents) to learn about how they use their smart homes, and understand their security and privacy related attitudes, expectations, and behaviors. Among other findings, we identify gaps in threat models arising from limited technical understanding of smart homes, awareness of some security issues but limited concern, ad hoc mitigation strategies, and a mismatch between the concerns and power of the smart home administrator and other people in the home. From these and other findings, we distill recommendations for the designers of smart home devices and platforms, as well as for end users, and we identify opportunities for future research.

CSE 303
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 12:00 to 13:30