IoT and the Curse of Massive Wireless Connectivity: A Systems Outlook


April 29, 2022 1:00 PM — 2:00 PM remote via Zoom


CDM 222

Speaker: Junaid Farooq, University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA


The Internet of Things (IoT) relies heavily on wireless communication-enabled devices that can discover and interact with other wireless devices in their vicinity. The communication flexibility coupled with software vulnerabilities in devices, due to low cost and short time-to-market, exposes them to a high risk of malware infiltration. An attacker might stealthily gain control over a large number of network devices using device-to-device (D2D) communication in order to launch a coordinated cyber-physical attack resulting in disruption of critical infrastructure facilities, or for malicious purposes such as collecting ransom. In this talk, I will describe an analytical approach to study the D2D propagation of malware in wireless IoT networks. Leveraging tools from dynamic population processes and point process theory, the malware infiltration and coordination process can be studied for a network topology. The analysis of mean-field equilibrium in the population is used for constructing and solving a network defense problem to prevent botnet formation by patching devices while causing minimum overhead to network operation. The proposed methodology serves as a basis for assisting the planning, design, and defense of such networks from a defender’s standpoint.


 Junaid Farooq is an Assistant Professor of ECE at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. His research interests are broadly in the modeling, analysis, and optimization of wireless communication systems, cyber-physical systems, and the Internet of things (IoT). He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn. Prior to that, he obtained the M.S. and B.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, and the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan. He has also worked as a researcher at the Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC) in Doha, Qatar. During his time at NYU, he was awarded the Athanasios Papoulis Award and the Dante Youla Award for excellence in teaching and research, respectively. He was also the recipient of the NYU University wide Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technology and Applied Science in 2021.

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