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ECE Departmental Seminar

Securing Wireless IoT Networks from Coordinated Stealthy Attacks

Junaid Farooq
New York University

Thursday, 9/12/19, 11:30am
Light Engineering 250

AbstractThe Internet of Things (IoT) relies heavily on wireless communication enabled devices that are able to discover and interact with other wireless devices in their vicinity. The communication flexibility coupled with software vulnerabilities in devices, due to low cost and short time-to-market, exposes them to a high risk of malware infiltration. An attacker might stealthily gain control over a large number of network devices using device-to-device (D2D) communication in order to launch a coordinated cyber-physical attack resulting in disruption of the critical infrastructure facilities, or for malicious purposes such as collecting ransom.

In this talk, I will describe an analytical model to study the D2D propagation of malware in wireless IoT networks. Leveraging tools from dynamic population processes and point process theory, I capture malware infiltration and coordination process over a network topology. The analysis of mean-field equilibrium in the population is used to construct and solve an optimization problem for the network defender to prevent botnet formation by patching devices while causing minimum overhead to network operation. The proposed methodology may serve as a basis for assisting the planning, design, and defense of such networks from a defender’s standpoint.

Bio: Junaid Farooq is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering. His research interests are in the design of secure and resilient IoT-enabled smart infrastructure systems & networks. He received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) and the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in 2013 and 2015 respectively. He was then a researcher at the Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC) in Doha, Qatar. He is a recipient of several awards including the President’s Gold Medal from NUST, the King Abdullah Fellowship award from KAUST, the Ernst Weber Fellowship from NYU, and the Athanasios Papoulis award from NYU.