Botnet: Smart Home User Vulnerabilities and Prevention

Ashley Newsome, The University of Tampa


Internet of things (IoT) devices are emerging technology and everyday devices used worldwide that puts convenience at our fingertips through the collection and analyzation of our physical environment via the use of sensors and internet-connected devices. But that convenience came with the cost of IoT attacks tripling in number within the first half of 2018 compared to the number of IoT attacks in 2017 (Kaspersky Lab, 2018). In terms of home user devices, there are smart and fitness watches, refrigerators, and home assistants like the Google Home Assistant and the Amazon Echo Dot, and more. Although these devices aide in making life easier, IoT devices are prone to the threats, vulnerabilities, and risks that come with being connected to the Internet. Yet, at the same time, these devices are used to create smart homes. Research by OWASP and Lopez et al. (2018) has shown that there are several security threats to IoT that demonstrate the need to create stronger security practices. This project investigates ongoing research of IoT exploitation, particularly by botnets, to produce simple implementation recommendations and secure practices for home users. The aim of this research is to provide homes users with preventative methods to protect their smart homes and devices, so they do not fall victim to botnets.