IIT Kharagpur develops prototype to protect IoT devices

IoT investment
Scientists at the Indian Institute Of Technology – Kharagpur (IIT – Kgp) have designed ‘Physically Unclonable Functions’ (PUF) which are fingerprint generator circuits that can protect Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure from manipulation.

The IoTs — for example, doctors remotely monitoring the pacemaker in a patient’s heart and modifying its pace — run on a command being sent out from one device to another through a network, and these commands are often unencrypted. This makes electronic devices vulnerable to hacking and manipulations in command.

“The PUFs consume very less power and are light weight, hence can be installed in any IoT device. PUFs are fingerprint generator circuits for electronic objects which uniquely identify each object, and help in authenticating the commands sent to connected IoT devices,” said Rajat Subhra Chakraborty of IIT- Kgp.

Chakraborty is one of the two main faculty members leading the research efforts associated with the IoT Laboratory of the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department.

“The receiving device shall read the command, verify the authenticity of the sender and then operate,” he added.

A prototype has already been developed by the team and it is currently being tested on commercially available devices at the IoT Lab.

“Testing has been successfully completed for wireless smart lighting system and wireless IP CCTV camera. The team equipped the devices with PUF and tested them for unauthorised usage which was prevented through PUF,” said Urbi Chatterjee, research scholar at the CSE Department.