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Protocol For Enabling Secure Smart Home Network Communication in IoT Disclosure Number: IPCOM000247757D
Publication Date: 2016-Oct-06
Document File: 5 page(s) / 83K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a protocol to secure the communication in a smart home network. The protocol is designed to be time effective and easy to implement with a goal to provide authentication and confidentiality in smart home network communication between devices.

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Protocol For Enabling Secure Smart Home Network Communication in IoT


We are entering into an era where the entities in a network communicate amongst themselves with minimal human intervention. This paves the way for automation of manual work. The network of things that communicate to accomplish a task automatically without much human involvement is termed as "Internet of Things (IoT)". With the advent of the network-connected gadgets, the concept of smart homes has turned into a reality. A smart home is a classic application of IoT that has the electronic devices talking to each other and can be controlled remotely. The communication in a home network can be manifolds like the alarm clock can trigger the coffee machine based on the alarm time (which has been set), the dishwasher can be turned on from the mobile phone, the washing machine can get a command to switch on power saver mode while dish washer is ON and so on. Like every network communication, security issues prevail in IoT too. So securing the network communication in IoT has always been a challenge And the protocol here provides a mechanism to enable authentication and confidentiality in a constrained environment.

Detailed Description:

The protocol mechanism is described with respect to a smart home network to explain how the

protocol will work.

The mechanism is based on public key cryptography to provide authentication and confidentiality. One of the key requirements of the public key cryptography is verification of

public keys. The general way is to get the sign by Certificate Authority in PKI (Public Key Infrastructure). However, for a small smart home network system, where the communication is

primarily between the owner and devices of the home, the major security issues to be addressed are:
* Only a valid house owner sends operations.

* Valid devices communicate with one another.

To achieve the above two objectives, it is required to authenticate devices among each other and with owner. So, where owner is already a trusted person, he can actually sign the public keys of all devices, which can become a trust among all. The public key signed by the house owner is a way to establish trust for other devices when one of the house device tries to communicate to another.


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Figure 1: Pictorial representation of a sample smart home network

The smart home network illustrated in Fig.1 consists of the following gadgets communicating with each other: Dish Washer, Air Conditioner, Washing Machine and Mobile Phone. All the devices in the network are controlled by the owner with the application on the mobile phone.

The devices have their own public/private key pair. The owner signs the public key of these devices with his private key. Any other device can verify the signature of the public key to make sure that the communicating device is permitted by owner to be part of network. If public key of any of the device is not signed by owner, it implies that...