Enforcing Smart Home Security via Home Assistant and Pi-hole Integration

State: Assigned to Elliot Wallace

mart home devices are becoming increasingly present in our daily lives in various devices ranging from light bulbs, thermostats, door locks, IP cameras, and voice assistants. On the one hand, such devices offer a convenience layer by simplifying and automating simple tasks, such as turning on/off lamp bulbs and TVs, automatically adjusting temperatures, and even automating actions between several devices based on voice commands. On the other hand, several security and privacy concerns are associated with using smart devices, which range from profiling customer behavior for further selling anonymized data to providing unsecured devices connected to the Internet. While reputable manufacturers strive to increase security and privacy levels, less reputable manufacturers often optimize their devices for mass-market production based on questionable or unknown privacy and security levels. 

This thesis aims to improve security and privacy in a smart home environment by increasing visibility and control over data transmitted by connected devices. Such visibility and control can be enforced by integrating existing projects such as Home Assistant, an open-source project that offers interfaces for the management of smart home devices (via APIs), and Pi-hole that uses Domain Name System (DNS) for advertisement blocking. A DNS is a service that translates the name of a website into an IP address. Using this information to monitor the traffic of devices in relation to the requested IP address is one method of implementing such control. Therefore, this thesis will investigate an approach to integrate both tools offering a "plug-in" system to enable observability (e.g., log connections and requests) and enforce simple security policies (e.g., block external connections).


40% Design, 50% Implementation, 10% Documentation
Python, basic networking and security knowledge

Supervisors: Dr. Bruno Rodrigues

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