Analyzing using software defined radios as wireless sensor network inspection and testing devices: An Internet of Things penetration testing perspective

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O'Mahony, George D.
Harris, Philip J.
Murphy, Colin C.
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
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Wireless sensor network (WSN) research and development is producing viable solutions for various innovative applications, including critical areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), which is becoming a significant feature of modern technology. WSNs form an integral component of the IoT infrastructure by, frequently, implementing the communication links between sensors and the access point or central coordinator. This design and use in IoT applications intensifies the incentive to attack WSNs as sensitive data is available and transmitted in wireless links, which inherently contain security vulnerabilities, especially from external malicious interference. To ensure satisfactory performance, safety and privacy, communication links and WSN devices must be secure. Hence, penetration testing to identify security vulnerabilities and responses to external intrusions is a prerequisite to forming secure connections and an overall secure network. Derived from a prior study, this paper explores the benefits of using software-defined radios (SDRs) for WSN/IoT data analysis and penetration testing by concentrating on implementing various intrusions using signal processing block based software like Simulink or GNU Radio. A comparison with traditional WSN packet sniffing/debugging tools is provided and the main security vulnerabilities of existing WSNs are surveyed by adopting the ZigBee protocol. An extension to WSN security analysis and testing is established by utilizing low-cost SDRs and specifying the ease of implementing various analysis techniques even when certain equipment, such as anechoic chambers, are unavailable. Stemming from previous simulations, the benefits of obtaining the in-phase and quadrature-phase samples, both with and without external interference, is also discussed.
Internet of Things , Protocols , Radiofrequency interference , Software radio , Telecommunication security , Wireless sensor networks , Zigbee , Software defined radios , Wireless sensor network inspection , IoT infrastructure , Communication links , Access point , IoT applications , Wireless links , Safety , Privacy , WSN devices , Secure network , Block based software , GNU Radio , Internet of Things penetration testing perspective , Data , IEEE 802.15.4 , Interference , Intrusion , IoT , SDR , Security , Sniffer , WSN and ZigBee
O’Mahony, G. D., Harris, P. J. and Murphy, C. C. (2020) 'Analyzing using Software Defined Radios as Wireless Sensor Network Inspection and Testing Devices: An Internet of Things Penetration Testing Perspective'. 2020 Global Internet of Things Summit (GIoTS), Dublin, Ireland, 3 June, (6 pp). doi: 10.1109/GIOTS49054.2020.9119606
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