Mitre Corporation launches $50,000 IoT monitoring contest

October 10, 2016 | 10:18

Tags: #botnet #challenge #competition #contest #ddos #denial-of-service #insecurity #internet-of-things #iot #mirai #security #vulnerability

Companies: #mitre

Security non-profit the Mitre Corporation has announced a $50,000 prize for the development of a technology to identify Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the home or business as the first step towards robust monitoring.

Security of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been at the forefront of system admistrators' minds of late, thanks to the use of compromised IoT devices to launch some of the biggest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in history. The most severe of these attackers were powered by the Mirai malware, the source code of which was publicly released by the author earlier this month. Mitre's solution: find a way to track and monitor IoT devices that doesn't require the manufacturers, notorious for launching badly-designed products with gaping security flaws and no upgrade path or aftercare, to do anything expensive.

'We're looking for a simple, affordable solution to identify devices within an IoT network so rogue devices can be discovered,' the non-profit Mitre Corporation explained in its announcement of the contest. 'The Mitre IoT team has built a model home network to serve as a testbed for the challenge. This robust home system includes a broad array of affordable devices with diverse operating characteristics. We believe that the identification techniques that prove effective in a home system will translate to industrial, healthcare, military, smart city, and other IoT networks.'

For those involved in the competition, which is open to entrants via the sign-up sheet, there's the promise of a $50,000 prize along with 'recognition and promotion for coming up with a game-changing solution' and help getting in contact with government agencies looking into IoT technologies. While $50,000 may seem a hefty top prize even without the nebulous 'exposure' that comes with it, technologies for identifying, monitoring, tracking, and inevitibly targeting IoT systems on a network would also prove useful to white-, grey-, and black-hat organisations ranging from national security services through to vulnerabilities-for-hire outfits, all of whom are likely to pay considerably more for the same tech.
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