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Security of Smart Collaborating Objects

A Research Topic of the Distributed Systems Group

Security is about the protection of valuable resources. In ubicomp, smart objects are exchanging services with their environment and collaborate with other objects in order to provide services to end users. Interactions of users with real-world objects are accompanied by wireless data exchange between the user's personal objects (integrated in his/her clothing, for example) and the objects in his/her surrounding. Thus, real-world actions are seamlessly reflected by transactions in the virtual space. This offers huge potential for offering novel kinds of services, but as a prerequisite, lots of personal data has to be recorded and processed by numerous devices and background services. The user has a vital interest that malicious devices cannot induce significant damage, for example by spending large amounts of money off the user's account, or by making personal data available to unauthorized parties (which is mainly a privacy problem).

The proliferation of action traces (digital data originating from real-world transactions, stored in undesired places), the execution of unwanted transactions through autonomous computing agents, the misinterpretation of contextual information, and service failure due to erroneous or malicious devices and software are amongst the security threats introduced by ubiquitous computing. These threats arise in the interaction of humans with smart objects, within smart environments, where large numbers of smart devices interact, and in conjunction with novel system architectures such as wireless sensor networks, where devices with low resources are employed to monitor mission-critical environmental features.

The operator of a wireless sensor network wants to make sure that outsiders cannot interfere with the operation of the network or gain access to confidential (or valuable) sensor data. Therefore, security mechanisms have to be implemented that protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the network. Due to their potentially large size, we believe that existing security mechanisms are not always applicable to sensor networks. We therefore concentrate our research on localized protocols and methods for assessing security properties of sensor networks.

See also the following related items:

Participating Researchers

Iulia Ion (until 2012), Marc Langheinrich (until 2008), Michael Rohs (until 2005)

Selected Publications

See the Publications of the Distributed Systems Group page for a full listing of our publications.

Related Student Projects

The following table lists corresponding student projects in our group. Note that some descriptions will be in German.

TypeTitleStudentSupervisorSemester
M Privacy-Preserving Search for Encrypted Images on the Cloud: Metadata and Classification Alexander ViandHossein ShafaghFS 17
M Private Search on Encrypted IoT data Aitor NavarroHossein ShafaghFS 17
M Public Key Hardware Accelerator for Encrypted Data Processing Jan MeierHossein ShafaghFS 17
L Proximity-based Authentication via Ambient RF Noise Jakob HasseHossein ShafaghFS 17
M Secure Analysis of Encrypted IoT Data Pascal FischliHossein ShafaghFS 16
L Developing IoT Applications on top of Encrypted Data Lukas Burkhalter,
Alexander Viand
Hossein ShafaghHS 15
M Proximity-based Authentication for the Internet of Things Dominic PlanggerHossein Shafagh,
Anwar Hithnawi
FS 15
M A Public-key Cryptography Framework for the Internet of Things Andreas DroescherHossein ShafaghFS 15
B Encrypted Data Processing for the Internet of Things: User’s Perspective Lukas BurkhalterHossein ShafaghFS 15
M Securing the Constrained Application Protocol Stefan JuckerMatthias KovatschFS 12
B Verifying Cloud Encryption Credentials through Mobile Device Interactions Marius FehrIulia IonFS 12
L Security in the Smart Energy Grid Raphael ThalwilIulia IonHS 11
M Implementation and Evaluation of a Secure Device Pairing Protocol Lukas HuserIulia Ion,
Marc Langheinrich,
Patrick Schaller
HS 08
M Evaluating Protocols for Secure Device Pairing Yves GeissbuehlerMarc Langheinrich,
Iulia Ion,
Patrick Schaller
FS 08
M Intrusion Detection and Failure Recovery in Sensor Networks Mario StrasserHarald VogtSS 05
M Multipfad-Protokolle zur sicheren Kommunikation in Ad-Hoc und Sensornetzen Claudio MunariHarald VogtSS 05
S Schlüsselvereinbarung in Sensornetzen Patrick Moor,
Mario Strasser
Harald VogtWS 04/05
S Assoziierung mobiler Geräte mit Visual Codes Patrick JayetMichael RohsWS 04/05
S Sichere Rekonstruktion von RFID-getaggten Dokumenten Emmanuel PythonJürgen BohnSS 04
D Zugriffskontrolle im Pervasive Computing Frank SeggingerHarald VogtWS 03/04
S Authentisierung mittels Java und Smartcards unter Linux Corsin DecurtinsHarald VogtWS 00/01
ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated January 1 1970 01:00:00 AM MET ko