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Automating Internet of Things Network Traffic Collection with Robotic Arm Interactions

by   Xi Jiang, et al.

Consumer Internet of things research often involves collecting network traffic sent or received by IoT devices. These data are typically collected via crowdsourcing or while researchers manually interact with IoT devices in a laboratory setting. However, manual interactions and crowdsourcing are often tedious, expensive, inaccurate, or do not provide comprehensive coverage of possible IoT device behaviors. We present a new method for generating IoT network traffic using a robotic arm to automate user interactions with devices. This eliminates manual button pressing and enables permutation-based interaction sequences that rigorously explore the range of possible device behaviors. We test this approach with an Arduino-controlled robotic arm, a smart speaker and a smart thermostat, using machine learning to demonstrate that collected network traffic contains information about device interactions that could be useful for network, security, or privacy analyses. We also provide source code and documentation allowing researchers to easily automate IoT device interactions and network traffic collection in future studies.


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