Policy-based Smart Home Management

State: Assigned to Patric Salvisberg
Published: 2023-06-19


In smart home management, the necessity to balance convenience and privacy becomes critical. As more homes become "smarter," with various devices from different manufacturers interconnected and communicating, the potential for privacy intrusions grows.

The thesis is based on the scope of the SHIFT project, which stands for Secure Home Integrated Framework and Tools. It builds upon a previous thesis where the focus was on detecting intelligent home device traffic by intercepting DNS (Domain Name System) requests. A DNS request is made to translate a URL, such as www.mysmartdevice.com, into an IP address, indicating that the device sends data for cloud processing. In this context, this data transmission could be considered a privacy breach, even though the data is sent using a secure transport protocol, such as HTTPS.

Within the scope of this thesis, the use of policies becomes necessary to define the scope or perimeter within which specific applications can communicate with cloud services. By focusing on high-level policies, or "intents", the project aims to make these privacy protections more user-friendly. In this context, the intent is considered a high-level policy, such as a user-expressed desire, which translates into system actions to allow or restrict device traffic. A practical example would be: "I want to block the external traffic of all IP cameras" or “Allow only a temperature sensor to send data externally.” This should be translated into a rule that interacts with one or more components, for instance, a firewall, to implement the rule.

The objectives of the thesis are as follows:


40% Design, 40% Implementation, 20% Documentation
Basic network knowledge, python

Supervisors: Dr. Bruno Rodrigues

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