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IoT Security Vulnerabilities: Understanding Threats and Defense Strategies

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Introduction: IoT Security Risks and OWASP Vulnerabilities

Chapter 1: IoT Communication


LoRa, which stands for "long range" but is shortened to "LoRa," is a communication technology for the Internet of Things. It is a low-power radio frequency with a long range that has a high reception sensitivity, which enables it to function effectively in loud surroundings. In compared to other forms of communication technology, LoRa is designed to have the advantages of being inexpensive, power-efficient, and highly scalable.

Security Risks

Jamming strategies, replay assaults, and wormhole attacks are all potential outcomes of LoRa's flaws, just as they are with any other kind of technology. When a malicious entity is used to disrupt the connection and bandwidth of two end systems for the LoRa upper layers, this can make it possible for any hostile material or unidentified parties to jam the LoRa system itself (Liyanage et al., 2020). The market for IoT products continues to struggle with this issue. Any Internet of Things (IoT) network that relies on LoRa for its communication technology is susceptible to being attacked by replay attacks.

Re-sending or re-transmitting the authorised data is the primary objective of these types of attacks, which target the security protocol. In order to commence attacks on wireless networks, it first gathers information on the different applications used by a wide variety of devices. Because the AppSKey is necessary for the decryption of communications, LoRa devices and gateways are shielded against attacks that involve replaying previous messages. If an adversary is successful in resetting an end device, they may then get any information about the transit between the end device and the gateway. This is true despite the fact that LoRa's frame counters will block any malicious signals from being sent.

This feature gives users the ability to replay both network and physical alarm messages directly on the end device. Finally, wormhole attacks make advantage of a node as the hub of communication by capturing transmissions from a physical unit and then transferring them to other nodes in the network. This makes it possible for the recorded packet to be replayed by other nodes on the network. Because of the ineffectiveness of the LoRa network's physical layer, a wormhole assault on the LoRa network might inflict a significant amount of harm. The sniffer and the jammer are two different types of devices that may be employed for this purpose respectively. The sniffer will inform the jammer when packets are gathered, and the jammer will then make an effort to interfere with the packet. Even if this particular packet is never sent to the gateway, the fact that it was never delivered there would not invalidate it in any way. Because of this, both routine and emergency communications won't be able to get through to their targets.

Risk Mitigation

Recognizing the IoT jamming attack based on its frequency and immediately disconnecting from the network is one of the most effective methods to counteract the effects of such an attack. The system administrators who are in charge of that network need to adjust the frequency at which it operates so that they can prevent the consequences of jamming. LoRa makes use of the frame counters that are defined inside the LoRa network (Sharma et al., 2020). Using the frame counters that are available in LoRa, it is feasible to locate and remove messages that have been repeated several times.

Because of the way the LoRa network maintains frame counts, a replay attack could be able to take advantage of this vulnerability. Because the message system used by LoRaWAN does not contain a time component, it may be very difficult to identify wormhole attacks that occur inside LoRaWAN networks. There are currently no countermeasures available to guard against wormhole assaults, therefore this requires a modification to either the LoRa network or the LoRa devices themselves.

Smart Bluetooth

As a result of the broad adoption of smart Bluetooth, smartphones and other types of smart devices are finding an increasing amount of usage in Internet of Things applications (commonly known as BLE or Bluetooth 4.0). Because it consumes less power and draws just a little amount of energy from a battery, wireless Bluetooth (BLE) is an especially power-efficient technology.

Chapter 2: Attacks on IoT

DAG Inconsistency Attack

The R

Security Risks

MITM, sometimes known as "man in the middle," denial of service, and bluejacking are the three most frequent types of attacks that may be used against Bluetooth. However, there are many more kinds of assaults that can be utilised. A kind of attack known as man-in-the-middle (MITM) takes aim mainly at electronic systems that are in conversation with one another. The user's devices are duped into thinking that they have successfully paired, and the communications are sent back to the attacker behind the scenes without the user being aware of what is happening (Pal et al., 2020).

A denial-of-service attack mainly targets a network's resource; in this case, it is packet flow. As a consequence of this assault, the network is unable to function properly, and the system must be restarted. A denial-of-service attack on Bluetooth, on the other hand, causes disruptions in communication, causes the devices' batteries to deplete, and interrupts other services. This causes devastation and makes it more susceptible to such attacks in the future. Bluejacking is a method that uses unsolicited messages in order to trick the user into entering an access code.

Risk Mitigation

To protect against a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack, Bluetooth should be disabled while it is not being used, the device itself should be hidden from other devices, and a secure pin password should be set up for when extra devices seek to connect. It is possible to defend against a denial of service (DOS) attack by making certain that Bluetooth is switched off when it should not be and by only connecting to things that the user is aware of. Developing and using robust passwords, upgrading those passwords on a regular basis, and ensuring that the device itself is running the most recent version of its operating system are all suggested precautions for avoiding a bluejacking assault.

PL node will raise the red flag for an inconsistency in the graph each time the direction of a transmission in any way doesn't match one's own rank relationship in the DAG. RPL will transmit a R bit flag for every inconsistency that it finds, and this flag will either be ignored or sent forward, depending on the outcome of the decision to disregard or pass it along (Chaki & Roy, 2021). As a direct consequence of this, a larger frequency of control messages will be generated. When an attacker uses a rogue node to change the error flags and reset the DIO trickle timer, they are able to start broadcasting DIO messages more often than is typical. This results in the creation and generation of local instability in the RPL network. It's possible that this one will set off a blackhole attack or some other kind of violent assault within the network.

Blackhole Attack

Blackhole attacks are a kind of denial of service attack that may occur on the RPL network. These attacks get their name from the fact that the rogue node that is utilised in the attack drops all of the packets that are meant to be forwarded forward. The sinkhole attack may be employed in combination with the blackhole assault, resulting in enormous traffic disruption for the network. This is almost always some kind of distributed denial of service attack on a network (Dehghantanha & Choo, 2019).

Performance Metrics

The DAG inconsistency attack may have an impact on a variety of performance metrics, including but not limited to power consumption, battery life, and the amount of network resources that are accessible to nodes. Because of this, the performance of the network as a whole will suffer. When the DIO trickle time is reset manually, the RPL network experiences an increase in instability (Ahmed, 2018). Because of the Blackhole attack, the RPL network has significant issues, including increased packet delay, increased control overhead, and a general decline in performance. When combined with an assault on a sinkhole, the RPL network would sustain significant damage, leading to an even greater number of complications than there were before.

Risk Mitigation

The most efficient preventative strategy that could be taken against a DAG inconsistency attack would be to restrict the number of times that the timer may be reset. As a direct consequence of this, the DAG attack would be unable to penetrate the network in any way. The Blackhole attack, luckily, includes countermeasures that may be taken in the form of alternative routes that can be used to route the identical message across the network's unconnected channels. As a result, this prevents the RPL network from being overloaded in a particular location..

Chapter 3: IoT OWASP

The Top Ten Web Application Vulnerabilities list on IoT devices is known for its consistency in receiving regular updates. While this is going on, a group of people are working on compiling a list of the Internet of Things' most widespread security issues (IoT). All of these smart things have one thing in common: they are equipped with full-fledged computers, which communicate with one another in some way, either directly or indirectly, through the internet, and may also be available online. As a direct consequence of this, hackers like spammers, botnet operators, and others attempting to spread malware view them as a very valuable target.

Hardcoded passwords or passwords that are simple to guess

Hardcoded default password is used in the virtual machine.

It is fairly uncommon for many devices to have default passwords, and the user of the device is not always required to change these passwords. When a device is initially installed, the default passwords are often quite straightforward and straightforward to guess, and in some situations, they are the same across all of the devices. In addition, there is often not a policy in place that demands robust passwords, which enables users to make use of easy passwords. Numerous devices have passwords or backdoors that are hard-coded into their systems and cannot be changed or removed.

Network services that aren't safe

Vulnerable services are exposed in the virtual machine’s network.

If services that are either unnecessary or harmful for the devices' actual operation are made accessible to the general public, there is a possibility that the data processed on the devices and the functionality of the devices themselves may be jeopardised. These systems have the additional capability of acting as a gateway to other networked systems.

Ecosystem interfaces that are not secure

The virtual machine’s drive is not encrypted.

There is a possibility that the device manufacturer's online services or interfaces, which are accessible over the internet, include vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities might take the form of missing or erroneous access controls and inadequate encryption (e.g., to access video data from cameras). The method of updating is vulnerable to attack. Many of the gadgets that make up the IoT do not have secure means for upgrading. For instance, signature techniques might be used to determine whether or not a future update is legitimate and to safeguard the integrity of data transfers.

Using out-of-date or unsafe systems

Outdated code is found in the virtual machine.

Most IoT devices rely on third-party components for their software and hardware. Weak spots might occur from employing old components or poorly adapting them to the product.

Inadequate security for personal data

As a result of this, any personal information input on the device or in the manufacturer's ecosystem would be handled incorrectly. When it comes to data collection, many people don't have a choice in the matter.

A lack of trust in the security of data transmission and storage

Unencrypted transmission is happening in the virtual machine.

The confidentiality of data saved on the manufacturer's devices or ecosystem and data communicated over the Internet is compromised if the encryption is missing or is poor.

There is a lack of control over the devices

Most Internet of Things (IoT) devices don't provide any means of integration into centralised asset or update management, making it hard to utilise several devices at once safely or to run devices on corporate networks, for example.

Default settings that aren't safe

Constraints are typically imposed on a device when it is initially installed, and privacy-by-default does not always come pre-installed with the device.

Lack of physical hardness

It might be difficult to function safely in public or publicly accessible areas when devices provide little or no protection against physical assaults. Additionally, this involves the availability of unnecessary device interfaces.

Chapter 4: Conclusion

It is necessary to take into consideration both the macro and the micro levels of Internet of Things (IoT) security. In order to create an Internet of Things project, a planner has to take into consideration not only the global and holistic elements, but also the IoT devices themselves. There is no Internet of Things project that does not contain networks, management systems, and all necessary compliance and regulatory requirements. There is also no such thing. Identity and authentication are crucial components of robust Internet of Things security, and this holds true regardless of whether the device in question is used in a home or business environment. It is necessary to examine it in order to guarantee that the data is encrypted since it is susceptible to being impacted while being sent over the internet.

In addition, it is necessary to ensure that the management platform that is currently being used is compatible with the Internet of Things devices. In order for edge computing solutions to be deployed, they first need to undergo an evaluation to determine whether or not they present any possible attack surfaces or vulnerabilities. This evaluation must take place before the edge computing solution can be implemented. With all of this new technology, it is essential to evaluate the appropriate compliance and regulatory requirements for the organisation (or industry) involved with the transmission and storage of information related to the internet of things (IoT). Strong passwords are required, in addition to the implementation of multi-factor authentication. Internet of Things (IoT) devices should never make use of passwords that are hard-coded into the device.

These minibars may not be much of a challenge for the assailants. Authorization policies should also regulate access to devices connected to the internet of things. Access restriction based on privilege is the best option in this situation. Assumptions cannot form the basis for the implementation of regulations governing security and privacy. By its very nature, this restriction makes it impossible to make use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that lack adequate security and privacy features. There need to be a separate network set aside just for Internet of Things devices. This network is the only one that can interact with the rest of the company by using a firewall, and it should have its own capabilities for monitoring activity as well.

On the Internet of Things devices, it is vital to deactivate any and all superfluous capabilities. By implementing (unnecessary) additional functionalities, it is possible to easily circumvent the limits and security measures. The user should not be able to get their hands on any controls that are vital to the proper functioning of the gadget. It is essential to either lock the reset and password change buttons or remove them entirely. It is not recommended to utilise automated connecting methods with wireless networks. In order to stop Internet of Things devices from sneaking into the network, it's possible that network components will need to be isolated.

In the event that incoming traffic is not completely obstructed, it is imperative that the software ports that enable configuration and remote control be deactivated or severely restricted, respectively. When it comes to sensitive information, encryption is a must. Devices that are connected to the Internet of Things should not be utilised if encryption is not available. A virtual private network, sometimes known as a VPN, can be useful in a scenario like this one. If the device's firmware or software has to be updated manually or on a local level, then it is not a good idea to acquire the gadget in the first place. It is recommended that an Internet of Things device be removed from the network after it has reached the end of its useful life or when the manufacturer stops releasing upgrades.


Ahmed, B. (2018). Secure and Smart Internet of Things (IoT). River Publishers. https://www.riverpublishers.com/book_details.php?book_id=669

Chaki, R., & Roy, D. B. (2021). Security in IoT. CRC Press. https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Security-in-IoT-by-Rituparna-Chaki-editor-Debdutta-Barman-Roy-editor/9780367711412

Dehghantanha, A., & Choo, K.-K. R. (2019). Handbook of Big Data and IoT Security. Springer. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-10543-3

Liyanage, M., Braeken, A., Kumar, P., & Ylianttila, M. (2020). IoT Security: Advances in Authentication. John Wiley & Sons. https://www.wiley.com/en-us/IoT+Security%3A+Advances+in+Authentication-p-9781119527923

Pal, S., Díaz, V. G., & Le, D.-N. (2020). IoT: Security and Privacy Paradigm. CRC Press. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.1201/9780429289057/iot-souvik-pal-vicente-garc%C3%ADa-d%C3%ADaz-dac-nhuong-le

Sharma, S. K., Bhushan, B., & Debnath, N. C. (2020). IoT Security Paradigms and Applications: Research and Practices. CRC Press. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.1201/9781003054115/iot-security-paradigms-applications-sudhir-kumar-sharma-bharat-bhushan-narayan-debnath

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